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5 Surprising Things Alexa Can Do

BY: Christopher Mahar | Dec 11, 2018

Amazon's electronic assistant Alexa lives inside a variety of ingenious pieces of technology in the Echo line, from the unobtrusive and economical Echo Dot to the newest and most advanced device, the Echo Show. You probably know many of the ways Alexa can make your life easier and more efficient, but presented here (in collaboration with some helpful internet doges) are some of her more surprising skills.

Alexa can...

1. ...order your dinner

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"I'll guard this with my life."
Alexa is a great help when you're cooking–you can ask her to convert measurements, set a timer for the oven, play your favorite kitchen music, or summon the necessary recipe to the Echo Show's screen. But did you know that she can also summon you a pizza out of thin air (practically) Enable the Domino's or Pizza Hut skill and your favorite pie is a simple verbal request away.

2. ...help you crack the case

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"I don't know what happened. I think it was some sort of invisible supervillian who took it! Who will help solve this caper?"
Want to solve a mystery? Simply say "Alexa, open The Wayne Investigation" and you will be transported to the mean streets of Gotham, tasked with solving that city's crime of the century—the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents. To the Bat Cave, Alexa!

3. ...pick out your outfit

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"Alexa, I am the Bat Dog! How do I look?"
The Echo Look bills itself as a "hands-free camera and style assistant". With its built-in LED lighting, depth-sensing software, and computer vision-based background blur function, this version of Alexa is custom made to help you look your best. Pair that with the Style Check skill and Alexa will suggest specific outfits from your wardrobe to wear, based on factors like the weather and the opinion of a team of experienced fashion specialists.

4. ...keep your darkest secrets

"Alexa, I took the pizza. And I'm not Bat Dog. And I'm not a dog. Set secret to private."
Secret Keeper works as a sort of hybrid of a diary and PostSecret. Say "Alexa, enable the Secret Keeper skill" and you will be prompted to unburden yourself to your electronic confidant. Alexa will repeat your secret back to you and ask if you want to keep it private or unleash it (anonymously) on the world. You can also ask Alexa to tell you a secret to hear a random publicly-enabled confession.

5. ...assist in your escape

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"Alexa, the jig is up! Ask KAYAK where I can go for $0."
Need to get away fast? Alexa can call you an Uber or a Lyft. She can also help you plan a trip or track a flight with the KAYAK skill. For the truly spontaneous traveler, check your pockets and say "Alexa, ask KAYAK where can I go for $XXX" and head out the door.