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Eccentric assistants: 11 of the weirdest Alexa gadgets

Because regular Echo speakers are so 2016

She's lived in laptops, soundbars and even headphones, but Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant also pops up where you’d least expect her.

From toilets to PC components, we’ve discovered Alexa hiding in 11 of the strangest places you could imagine. Where will she appear next?

1) Oittm Essential Oil Diffuser (£25)

While you might have got away with blaming those funny smells on Alexa so far, one day your little racket is going to be exposed.

Before that happens, you might want to invest in an Oittm Essential Oil Diffuser, which releases odours you definitely can blame Alexa for, because that’s how it’s triggered.   

 

2) GE JES1097SMSS Smart Microwave ($140)

What seems weird now may soon become the norm, but having kitchen appliances with Alexa support still feels like the stuff of sci-fi.

As if cooking in the microwave wasn’t already lazy enough, now you don’t even have to push the buttons. Just tell your Echo what you want the microwave to do and it’ll get to work.

GE also has ovens, fridges and dishwashers that can be controlled via your Echo, so before too long you’ll barely have to lift a finger. 

3) Petnet SmartFeeder (£349)

If it were up to your cat, dinner time would come around every few hours. But it’s not, it’s up to Alexa.

At least, it is if you’ve got a Petnet SmartFeeder. When your mog is pestering you for food, rather than having to interrupt your juggling practice to feed them, you can simply ask Alexa to do it and the Petnet will dispense the correct amount of grub into the tray. If only they made one for kids...

4) Jarvish X-AR (£TBA)

It can be lonely inside a bike helmet, with nothing but your thoughts to keep you company out on the open road. So it makes sense that Jarvish would give bikers someone to talk to while they ride.

That someone is, of course, Amazon’s Alexa, which is used to control the helmet’s built-in GPS and head-up display, while also giving you hands-free access to your phone, so you can play music and take calls while you ride.

5) Thermaltake Riing Trio 12 RGB (£TBA)

Unless you’re building your own gaming rig, most people don’t need to worry about PC fans. But once you’ve seen Thermaltake’s latest computer coolers you might decide you fancy a go at putting one together yourself.

Not only do they come with 30 LEDs that can be programmed to display up to 16.8 million slightly different colours, you can adjust them using an Alexa device, even asking for them to be synced with local weather info. Why? Who knows, but at least it’ll look nice.

6) Kohler Numi (TBA)

OK, so Kohler’s Numi toilet only works with Alexa if you pair it with the company’s Verdera mirror, but toilets are funnier than mirrors, alright?

The mirror acts as a hub for the rest of your connected bathroom furniture, and with the Numi’s built-in speakers, you can ask to have music played through the loo to drown out any unwanted sound effects. Surely this is the pinnacle of human achievement?

7) Anova Precision Cooker Wi-Fi (£99)

Sous vide cooking is all the rage these days, with some people refusing to eat anything unless it’s cooked in a vacuum-sealed bag that’s left for ages in a temperature-controlled bath. 

Fancy a taste of it? Anova’s Precision Cooker is one of the best sous vide gadgets you can get and its Wi-Fi version can even be controlled using Alexa. Once the food is sealed and submerged you can use your Echo to set the cooking time and temperature, and check in to see how it’s getting on, all without touching the pot. 

8) Project Nursery Smart Baby Monitor ($230)

Giving Alexa the responsibility of handling your kitchen timers is one thing, but keeping an eye on the baby?

Project Nursery’s sound- and motion-activated baby monitor comes with an Alexa-powered speaker, which not only gives you full voice control over the HD camera, allowing you to pan, tilt and zoom it with two-way audio communication, it also offers all the usual Echo functionality as well.

Throw in the ability to play a lullaby version of Aerosmith’s ‘I Don't Want to Miss a Thing’ and you can even ensure that your sprog grows up with bad taste in music.

9) Haiku (from $995)

While hiring somebody to fan you with palm leaves isn’t realistic these days, with a Haiku fixed to your ceiling you can still bark instructions at something that’ll keep you cool when it’s hot.

Available in nine different finishes and three different sizes, these propeller-esque fans can be turned on or off and up or down, via an Echo or any Alexa-enabled bit of kit.

10) Netgear Orbi (£250)

“What use is Alexa on a Wi-Fi router?” you might ask. And it would be a perfectly valid question. How often do you do anything with your router other than turn it off and on again when the internet goes down?

But Netgear’s Orbi isn’t a normal router. It uses a mesh system to create more consistent, far-reaching Wi-Fi around your home, with a tri-band system that maintains speeds even when multiple devices are connected.

How does Alexa fit into all this? You can ask it to turn on your guest Wi-Fi when people come round, putting an end to that annoying search for the password.

11) Petcube Play (£149)

Pet ownership is all about love and companionship, so why not buy a little black box that can play with your little ball of fluff for you? Even better, why not get an entirely separate gadget to operate it?

The Petcube Play looks a lot like a tiny security camera but its laser is used to entertain your pet by giving it something to chase around, not trip up burglars. There’s also the Petcube Bites, which you can use in conjunction with Alexa to dispense treats.