Alexa Skills come to the Echo, plus more home automation
There has been a significant new update to the
and it is just the very beginning of what will show us the Echo/Alexa’s vast capabilities coming in the future.
With software version 2606 (you don’t need to do anything, your Echo will just update), we have the arrival of Alexa Skills.
I’ve written about the
previously, and have begun to speculate about what it might mean on my
It allows third party developers to give Alexa new powers.
For the first time, you can access three of them by going to
Home – Menu – Skills
There are three skills available now (you have to activate them in the app):
- Crystal Ball: this is like the Magic Eight Ball. You launch it by saying, “Alexa, launch Crystal Ball”. Then it asks you to concentrate on a yes/no question, and to say, “Ready” when you want its response. It then gives you an answer like, “Without a doubt.” Should be fun for kids
- Math Puzzles: “Alexa, open math puzzles”. It gives you a sequence of numbers, and you guess the next number. The first one was hard…I knew the pattern, figuring out what the right answer was was difficult! The second one I did was easier. Note: I got caught in kind of a loop at one point: saying, “Alexa, stop” got me out of it
- StubHub: “Alexa, ask StubHub what’s happening in…” There are a lot of options here. It will ask you to set your home city. Note: I set one home city, and then wanted to change it. I said, “Alexa, ask StubHub to set my home city,” and it let me change it. I thought I’d be able to set it in the app, but I didn’t see an option. You can also get information for many large cities. Note that although StubHub is a ticket buying service, it just listed the events for me…I wasn’t using it to buy tickets
The Echo can also now control additional home devices from Leviton and Lightify. You can see (and purchase) here:
Congratulations to April F. Hamilton of Love My Echo! Crystal Ball is one of the developer’s Alexa skills, and it was one of the first three to appear!
Love My Echo is not connected to my blog
which is one of the most popular blogs of any kind in the USA Kindle store. However, I’m happy I found it! April gives us a real inside view of developers using the ASK (not a coincidental acronym, I’m sure, for the Alexa Skills Kit) in addition to other useful Echo information.
Enjoy the new skills…and I’ll keep you informed as more become available!
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