The most bizarre things that work with Amazon Alexa, from a twerking teddy bear to a smart toilet

Amazon; Clilff Owen/AP

Voice assistants have made it easier to order around everything from your phone to your home appliances all with a few words or phrases.

Almost every major tech company – including Google, Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft – has developed its own voice assistant to integrate into its many products. Leading the charge is Amazon, whose line of smart speakers and smart products equipped with Alexa have become some of the most popular devices on the market.

Amazon announced a bunch of new Alexa-powered devices just last week, including smart glasses, a smart ring, and a children’s nightlight. But there dozens of other products with Alexa out there that can be controlled using just your voice – at this point, just about every electronic device found in your home. Then, of course, there are the more eyebrow-raising products.

Take a look at some of the most interesting and weird gadgets that can be controlled with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant:

At an event last week, Amazon revealed it would soon be releasing $US180-a-pair smart glasses called Echo Frames. The frames are Alexa-enabled, meaning you can both give voice commands to the glasses and also allow for notifications to be delivered via the Frames’ built-in speakers.

AmazonThe Echo Frames will cost $US180.

Source: Business Insider

Amazon also announced the Echo Loop, a titanium ring that “discreetly” vibrates with notifications. Alexa is awakened with the press of a button on the ring, and can hear and respond to your voice commands with “the smallest speaker ever on an Echo device.”

AmazonThe Echo Loop is a smart ring that connects to Alexa.

Source: Business Insider

The new $US30 Echo Glow is essentially a night light, except it can pair with Alexa. The Echo Glow is intended for kids and doesn’t have any built-in microphones itself, but responds to voice commands — like setting timers and setting which colour the device emits — when paired with another mic-equipped Echo device.

AmazonThe Echo Glow is meant for children.

Source: Business Insider

Amazon has invested in its home offerings in recent years, creating dozens of smart devices powered with Alexa — and partnering with other companies to make their products Alexa-compatible — that can turn your house into an Alexa-dominated smart home.

AmazonThe Amazon Smart Plug can add voice commands to any outlet.

Alexa-enabled smart home products include coffee makers, light bulbs, and smart plugs that allow you to use Alexa to turn on and off any product plugged into the outlet.

Source: Business Insider

The most recent addition to Amazon’s line of smart appliances is the Smart Oven: an all-in-one microwave, convention oven, and air fryer. You can tell the $US250 Smart Oven to preheat the oven, set a timer, or trigger presets for microwaving various foods.

AmazonThe Amazon Smart Oven can calculate how long to cook certain foods.

Source: Business Insider

There’s also an Alexa-powered microwave, if you’re looking to spend a little less on a smart appliance. At $US60, the AmazonBasics Microwave starts does exactly what’s you’d expect: warms up your food at the direction of your voice.

AmazonThe AmazonBasics Microwave was released in September 2018 and costs $US60.

Source: Business Insider

Amazon offers a range of various security cameras and video doorbells as part of its line of Ring products. Alexa comes into play by notifying you through your Echo device when motion is detected by one of the Ring products. If you have an Echo Show or Echo Spot, which both have screens, you can use Alexa to talk to anyone on the other side of the Ring camera.

RingThe Ring smart video doorbell.

Source: Amazon

The Echo Look is a smart styling assistant priced at $US100. Ask the device, “Alexa, how do I look?” and the Echo Look will give real-time feedback on your outfit, offer recommendations compatible items for your look, and select your best outfit if you give it options to choose from.


Source: Business Insider

Alexa-enabled devices don’t have to necessarily be made by Amazon: There just needs to be an Echo device nearby that can hear your commands and is connected to your compatible smart product. For example, this automatic pet food feeder can be directed, via Alexa, to feed your dog or cat a snack.

AmazonThe PetSafe Smart Feed costs $US180.

Source: Amazon

This twerking teddy bear responds to Alexa commands. The bear, made by Gemmy, will dance to music, lip-sync the weather and other commands coming from your Echo device, and also twerk to your alarms, timers, and event notifications.


Source: Business Insider

And if the twerking teddy bear isn’t enough of a sell, Gemmy also has twerking Alexa-powered toys in time for Christmas — the twerking Christmas bear and twerking Santa.


Source: Business Insider

Gemmy is also the same company who brought Alexa to the iconic Big Mouth Billy Bass in time for the winter holiday season last year. Big Mouth Billy Bass will wriggle his body to music played on Amazon Music, and move his lips to sync with Alexa responses.

Gemmy Industries

Source: Business Insider

You can add Alexa to your car for hands-free commands and tasks while you’re busy driving. Amazon offers the $US50 Echo Auto that sits on your dashboard. Other companies also offer similar devices with built-in Alexa, including the Anker Roav Viva car charger.

AmazonThe Amazon Echo Auto.

Sources: Amazon

You can even ask Alexa to lock your doors for you, instead of having to go around and check each lock before you go to bed. Many of these smart locks can also be controlled via your smartphone, like the line of ones made my August.

AmazonThe August Smart Lock Pro costs around $US200.

Source: Amazon

Smart thermostats, by ecobee, allow you to control and set the temperature with voice command. However, ecobee’s Alexa integration also allows the smart thermostats in your house to be used as an intercom system.

ecobeeThe ecobee thermostat is one device that is Alexa-compatible.

Source: Amazon

The Vector robot, a “companion made to hang out and help out,” is entirely voice-activated. Using Alexa, Vector can answer questions, take photos, and control your smart home devices. The robot can also move around and navigate all on its own.

AmazonThe Vector Robot by Anki costs $US124.

Source: Amazon

Some robot vacuum cleaners, including the popular iRobot Roomba, now work with Alexa too. You can use voice commands to tell your robot to start cleaning, or schedule a time to clean when you’re out of the house at work.

AmazonThe iRobot Roomba 671.

Source: Amazon

You can even have Alexa in your bathroom, if you wish. Moen’s smart shower system allows you to turn it on and set the water temperature with your voice to avoid having even a second of a cold shower.


Source: Moen

There are also numerous smart mirrors equipped with Alexa. For example, Qaio’s smart mirrors will display the news, read out the weather, or pull up an episode of your favourite TV show, all with a few voice commands. The smallest Qaio mirror starts at a cool $US1,759.

EvervueThe Qaio double sink mirror costs $US2,199.

Source: Qaio

To make your time in the bathroom even more worthwhile, Koehler has added Alexa commands to its newest toilet available in 2020. The Numi 2.0 will be able to play music, flash mood lighting, and allow you to prepare for the morning, all without having to press any buttons while you’re … preoccupied.

felflofel/YouTubeThe Numi 2.0 intelligent toilet, announced at this year’s CES, will be available in 2020.

Source: Koehler, The Verge

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