Amazon, last year, released two new Alexa speakers, which had a feature that no other smart speaker had before. The feature was a touchscreen. This blew the possibilities of the dedicated digital assistants wide open and breathed new life into the world of Alexa skills.
With the almost 25,000 Alexa skills that are available today, only a few of them take advantage of the displays on the Echo Spot and Echo Show. Those few include Fandango, Twitch, Jeopardy, Allrecipes, Nest Camera, Ring, and Kayak.
Fandango is a thing to ask the Alexa speaker regarding the upcoming movies or for showing times and having it read all back to the user, one item at a time. It is altogether something else when one could ask for that and swipe through all the theaters and showtimes available. With the Fandango skill, the users could not only look up showtimes but could also buy tickets from the skill, provided they have a Fandango VIP account.
Since Twitch is under the Amazon umbrella, the Twitch skill has been updated to take full advantage of a display. The users just need to link their Twitch account and they could browse Twitch through channels that they follow, popular channels or popular games. By following the voice prompts the users could watch Twitch streams directly from the Echo Show.
The Jeopardy! Skill is great, also if it is audio-only from the other Alexa speakers. But being provided a visual element definitely helps to make it feel more like the real thing. Each clue that the users are given is displayed on a blue screen with white text, just as the clues in the real show.
Having the Alexa speaker in the kitchen delivering recipe ideas is entirely a novel thing in and of itself. When a visual element is added to it, it feels almost like the users are living in the future. With the Allrecipes skill, Alexa would not only deliver the recipe ideas for certain ingredients, it would give the users pictures to go along with them. It would list all the ingredients required and give the users a step-by-step visual guide to help them while they cook.
If the consumers have Nest cameras around their home, they could use the Nest Camera skill to display those feeds directly on the screen of their Echo Spot or Echo Show. After they have linked their Nest account, the consumers just need to say, “Alexa, show the feed from the backyard.”
The same even goes for Ring Video Doorbell skill. If the consumers have a video doorbell installed by their front door, they just could say, “Alexa, show my front door camera.” While this skill would only work with the Echo Show and Echo Spot speakers, it would also work with the Alexa app on Android device or iPhone.
The Kayak skill is great for getting a quick, hands-free price estimate for the trips. The users could ask as to how much it would cost them to fly from Charlotte to Portland or where 500 dollars could get them. But obtaining those results in a verbal list could sometimes feel overwhelming and difficult to process.