Here’s a startup slogan to make the music industry’s ears prick up: ‘Create Alexa skills without coding’.
That’s the pitch for a new company called Storyline, which has developed a visual drag’n’drop interface to help people create the conversational apps for Amazon’s Echo speakers (and other Alexa-toting devices).
Storyline’s tool enables skills to be built and previewed using a web browser, then hooked into Amazon using an account on that service, with analytics on the skills thrown in too.
The basic version of the platform is free to use, with a pro tier offering technical support and the ability to schedule posts for ‘flash briefing’ skills.
In an interview with TechCrunch, the company’s founders claim it takes 5-7 minutes to create a basic skill using the tools, and add that they’ll soon be supporting non-Amazon platforms like Google Home / Assistant.
“We realised there was this big struggle with creating conversational apps,” said CEO Vasili Shynkarenka. “We learned that creative people and content creators are not really good at writing code.”