Below find a list of five noteworthy Alexa skills culled from various Alexa Skills Store categories, including Customer Favorites This Week, Top Enabled, and Skills Trending This Week.
In Alexa-related news this week, an Amazon executive who helped bring Alexa to life is now working to give the intelligent assistant better memory and skill discovery and talked about how the company’s ultimate goal is to make Alexa just like the computer on Star Trek.
This voice app from condom maker LifeStyles SKYN actually comes with a recommendation that you be 18 or older to use the skill. Say “Alexa, tell Set the Mood I’m feeling sexy” and the skill will play you some sexy songs. You can also ask Set the Mood where to buy condoms (hint: It starts with “A” and ends with “mazon”) or you can serenade your significant other with a selection of playlists from SKYN, with titles like Studded Touch, Elite Sound, Extra Close, Original Beat, and Large Love.
Another skill that incorporates music worth trying comes from the Eurovision Song Contest. This one answers trivia questions and can play winning songs from the continent-wide contest, dating back to the 1960s.
Every time you finish a meal, you tell this skill what leftovers are being added to the fridge or freezer. And then… nothing. My assumption going into this was that you would tell the skill a list of leftovers and it would give you awesome recipes. Nope. Still, this skill was listed Friday in the Customer Favorites This Week category, so someone must appreciate the basic ability to log what’s in your kitchen.
With time — and this is generous — it’s possible this skill could gather insights and tell you, say, the kinds of foods you tend to not to finish in order to help you avoid wasting food and money. It could function sort of like a mood tracker or the Zyrtec allergy tracker, but that’s not something the skill does today on its own.
This game is kind of like Scattergories. Alexa gives you a letter of the alphabet and then asks you to name cities or countries, for example, that start with that letter. With “Right on!” and “Aloha” in this skill’s vernacular, it appears to take advantage of the speechcons library of expressions Alexa first made available for skills developers late last year.
The Coldwell Banker Home of the Week is a new skill that can connect you with local real estate agents and, of course, tell you about the “home of the week.”
“As you walk into the grand two-level foyer, there’s an abstract geometric skylight that covers the entire ceiling. It’s a work of art on a new level,” said a human narrator beginning the intricate description of the first home of the week.
This skill requires permission to access your address and Lists inside the Alexa app. The first home of the week is 17,000-square foot Beverly Hills dream home, which makes the skill feel impractical. This will be a lot more useful once local listings become a bigger part of the skill.
Agents of all kinds are creeping into the Alexa skills ecosystems now that skills have launched for several large insurance companies and HomeAdvisor can connect people looking for services with professionals in their area.
There aren’t a whole lot of bells and whistles with this skill, but for the word nerds or language learners out there, the synonym-antonym quizzes can be fun.