Alexa, as most of you must know, is a virtual assistant developed by Amazon. Alexa basically works on the cloud-computing technology and keeps on learning the behavior of its user to provide the best answers to its users. Alexa is currently working with Echo and Tap devices and you can choose your device depending upon your usage and budget. You all must be aware of some basic functions of Alexa, so today we are going to discuss some special tricks and skills of Alexa and its Echo device.
Changing the wake-up call
Are you tired of saying the name Alexa, every time you want to get anything done or maybe you have someone at home with the name Alexa, whatever the reason may be, Amazon gives an option to either mute or completely change the wake word. Although you might not able to name it after your favorite character movie character, mine being JARVIS, but you can surely choose between Computer, Amazon, Echo or Alexa. You can change the wake word from the Alexa App in settings >> Wake Word.
Smart Home capability
Have you ever had that lazy moment where you just don’t want to get up to shut the door or switch of the light or even change the channel, well I guess people at Amazon surely had those moments and keeping them in mind they Alexa devices like Echo has a capability of connecting other smart home devices with it and using Alexa you can control all those devices by simple voice commands like “Alexa, Switch off the Lights” or “Alexa, Change the Channel”.
You all know that Alexa can make grocery lists and add more items by just simple voice commands like “Alexa, I have run out of Table Salt”. But the skill My Chef takes that ability one step further, it gets paired with the Chefling App and allows you to send shopping lists, track expiration dates and read recipes. Using this skill, Alexa can even remind you of all the items you currently have in your pantry, preventing a lot of frustration when you are out for shopping.
The Phone Finder
Smart phone become an integral part of our life and when we misplace it or forget where you keep it, the frustration is justified and if you have someone else at home the first instinct is asking them to call at your device, Alexa does just that for you using the Where’s My Phone skill.
Call a Ride
Getting late, calling for an Uber was just another task keeping you from reaching on time. Alexa, as always will come to your rescue and book a ride for you by just a simple voice command. It will access the location of your Echo device and call for the ride.
If someday you are bored and don’t have anyone to talk to, you can pass the time by playing games. Alexa has some built in games like “The Animal Game” just say “Alexa play the animal game”, now Alexa will try to guess the animal that you are thinking of by asking some questions related to that animal. Some other games include:
- Song Quiz
- Deal or No Deal
- True or False
- 20 questions
- Tic Tac Toe
- Rock Paper Scissors
- Millionaire Quiz Game
- Movie Quotes and many more
Delete Voice recordings
Did you know that Alexa keeps a record for all the commands that you give to Alexa on the Amazon server for enhanced performance and improved quality of answers. You can view the history and delete it by going to the history section, under settings in the Alexa App. You can delete the complete history all at once by visiting the Amazon Connect and Devices Website, select the “your devices” tab and then go to “manage voice recordings”, here you can delete all the history at once.
Routine is one of the newest features that allow you to perform multiple tasks at the same time using a single voice command. For example you can make certain settings that will switch off all the lights and lock all the doors of your house and play your flash briefing by just saying, “Alexa, Good Night”. To enable this feature:
- Open the Alexa App
- Go to settings
- Go to Routines, under the Account section
- Now tap on the plus sign on the upper right corner
- Now tap on the “When this happens” option, here add the command for which you want the actions to be performed.
- Now finally add the actions that are required to be performed.
Do you have just one device at home and multiple users? Do you want Alexa to have personalized answers for every member who uses the device? If yes, then you would want to have individual voice profiles. This way Alexa can recognize the person who is issuing the command by recognizing the voice. There are two ways to add voice profiles, either you can say “Alexa, learn my voice” or you can follow the following instructions.
- In the Alexa app, go to settings then accounts
- Tap the “Your voice” option and select begin.
- Now you have to select the device that you interact with and tap on next
- Repeat the phrase given on the screen, loud enough for the microphone to receive it. You can go to the next phrase or try speaking the phrase again.
- Select complete when you are done
Have Some Fun
Alexa is not just a serious AI but is filled with funny Easter Eggs. You can ask Alexa some of these questions and get amazed by the funny and witty answers.
- Alexa, I want the truth
- Alexa, I am your father
- Alexa, Winter is coming
- Alexa, Surely you can’t be serious
- Alexa, Is there a Santa?
- Alexa, what is the first rule of Fight Club?
- Alexa, what are the laws of robotics?
- Alexa, beam me up
- Alexa, show me the money
- Alexa, I’ll be back
- Alexa, Use the force
- Alexa, Tea. Earl Grey. Hot
These are some of the tricks, skills and questions that you should ask Alexa and get amazed by the answers. Alexa is a smart device that can perform many tasks and explore is the key so do some experiments and wake up your adventurous side for the ride of your life, but just one little warning, just don’t fall in love with Alexa because after all it’s a software and you may end up hurting your feelings J