By now, there’s a good chance you’ve seen or heard of the Amazon Echo Dot. If you haven’t, it’s what they call a smart speaker or intelligent assistant; it can connect to other devices via Bluetooth, play music, and since it’s powered by Amazon, it can even do online shopping for you! Oh, and did we mention you control it with your voice?
You might be thinking, “that’s a waste of time and money” or, “I can do all that without the help of some mouthy robot!” Believe me, I felt that way too. But then, I was able to give the Echo Dot a try, and I realized that there’s a lot more to it that just turning up the volume without a remote or making a hands free phone call. Here are five of Alexa’s “Skills” that make this a must have in your home.
Enjoying a glass of wine with dinner is great, but if you’re like me and don’t know a lot about the ins and outs of a vineyard, picking the right wine to go with your meal can be a challenge. MySomm turns Alexa into your personal sommelier, and can offer hundreds of recommendations on what wine will pair well with supper, whether you’re making filet mignon or reheating some pizza. Sure, this Skill will expand your culinary horizons and make you the dinner guest everyone wants to invite over, but at the end of the day, MySomm is just going to make stuff taste better. That alone makes the Amazon Echo worth it!
Did you know that over 1/3rd of the world’s food gets thrown out or wasted every year? That also means wasted resources spent getting it to you, wasted opportunities for the less fortunate to eat, and of course, wasted money coming out of your pocket. “Save The Food” aims to fix all that. You can use it to find the best way to store foods so they stay fresh longer, check to see if your veggies are still edible, and help make the most of your groceries. In the long run, this is a great money-saving tool, and will make sure that the MySomm Skill will pair your wine with a fresh and delicious meal.
This is a fun one, and a must have for any history buffs or trivia fans. This Day in History, created by the good people at The History Channel, is pretty self explanatory. Launch it, and Alexa will give you a little known fact from history every single day. It’s a great way to get the day started or just get some fun inspiration when that 2pm slump rolls around. For instance, did you know that the day I wrote this was the same day the Civil War ended in 1865? Thanks for putting things into perspective, Alexa.
A wise man once said, “Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then, always be Batman”. “The Wayne Investigation” Skill allows you to come pretty close to that, as it’s a choose your own adventure style mystery game that allows you to track down the man who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents! Alexa guides you through Gotham City as you hunt down clues, run into dead ends, arrest suspects, and get to the bottom of the famous (albeit fictional) crime. The game plays and sounds like an old radio drama, with immersive sound effects and background music. It originally came out as a promotion for the film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but a year after the movie’s release the game is still wildly entertaining. Depending on how fine tuned your detective skills are (or how much luck you have), the game can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 45. This Skill really opens you up to the different possibilities with Alexa, and makes me hope they’ve got more games like this on the way!
“Cinemate” is a must have for movie lovers out there. This Skill will sift through all your different subscription services like Netflix or Hulu to find out where your favorite films are playing. It’ll give you plot synopses, release date, run-times; it’ll even tell you who wrote the music for the film! Basically, it’ll give you all the information you’d ever need to know about your favorite movies or help you find an unexpected gem. When you pair all that with the fact that Alexa is also compatible with your DISH Hopper 3 DVR, the Amazon Echo Dot becomes an awesome addition for anyone with a television. And, maybe most importantly, it acts as the voice of reason in any movie related debate you have with your friends: yes, Will Ferrell and NFL legend Mike Ditka did make a movie together. Thanks for clearing that up, Alexa.
If those aren’t enough reasons for you to order an Amazon Echo Dot, you can always check out Alexa’s Skill Store to explore the thousands of other cool things Alexa can do for you. If you do feel like you could use one in your life, keep in mind that, for a limited time, customers who sign up with Microcom for DISH service or add an additional Hopper or Joey will get an Echo Dot at no extra cost! Give Microcom a call today at (907) 264-3474 and start making the most of your television!
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- Tags: Amazon, Amazon Alexa, Cinemate, DISH, Echo Dot, Microcom, MySomme, Save The Food, The Wayne Investigation, This Day in History