The smart virtual assistant from the house of Amazon – Alexa – is getting bigger by the month. As of September 1, 2018, Alexa Skills number no less than 50,000. That’s up from 40,000 this past May. 10,000 skills in 4 months. Not a bad feat. Even more impressive is the fact that there were only 4,000 compatible devices for Alexa at the end of last year; that number has grown to 20,000, and the number of brands associated with Alexa Skills has gone up nearly three-fold from 1,200 to 3,500. There are also some very useful Alexa Skills for emergency but non-life-threatening situations that could save your day. Check them out here.
The actual number of skills is far beyond 50,000. As of August, Alexa Skills from the U.S., the UK and Germany alone numbered 66,410. If you count India, Canada, Australia and Japan, the number is much higher. But Amazon only counts non-duplicates, which is the way it should be.
So, what are some of the truly unique and useful things you can do with the Alexa Skills available on any one of the 20,000 compatible devices? We’re not just talking about ordering a pizza. We’re after the broader segment of voice shopping and the convenience it affords, but we’ve zeroed in on some of the more off-the-beaten-path skills that you can try out.
Here are a few examples.
Reorder Your Contact Lenses from DiscountContacts.com
If you’re a customer of DiscountContacts.com, all you have to say is “Alexa, reorder my contacts with Discount Contacts” and you get a 10% off for shopping with your voice. Discount Contacts, one of the 3,500 brands associated with Alexa Skills, says this:
“25+% of Alexa units are kept in the bedroom or bathroom where most people put in their contacts. What could be easier than to run out of contacts and be able to immediately order replacement lenses while you put in your last pair?”
Click here to learn More about Discount Contacts’ Alexa Skill, or click here to install it in the Amazon Alexa app if you’re reading this on a mobile device. This particular Alexa Skill is the first of its kind, it’s free to enable, and it will save you a ton of tears. Literally.
Donate to One of 153 Charities
Charity doesn’t need to be merely lip-service any longer. Well, it can be, but it’s still effective. Just say “Alexa, make a donation,” and Alexa will offer up a list of organizations and prompt you for figure.
Are you more generous by voice? Simply enable voice purchasing and set up an Amazon Pay account. Here’s a list of all the organizations currently accepting Alexa voice donations. 153 non-profits are currently listed.
Compare Mobile Phones before Purchasing
Tired of browsing the Internet manually and comparing new mobile phones? Fret not. Compare Mobiles lets you add phones to the compare list, and then give you specs scores, user ratings and prices.
After enabling it, just invoke the skill with an “Alexa, open Compare Mobiles,” and then search for phones to add to the list. Once two devices have been added, the skill will give you whatever recommendations you need to make an informed purchase decision.
Shoe Size Chart
Going shoe shopping while on holiday overseas? Didn’t bring your shoe size calculator? No problem, this skill take care of that. Just enable the skill and invoke it with “Alexa, Ask Shoe Size Chart for size 8 men’s.” The skill will give you the equivalent UK, Europe, Japan and China shoe size. Pretty neat.
As Alexa Skills grow, the market will mature and we’ll be seeing lots of such useful skills. It’s not all about ordering an Uber, you know?
Here’s Something Even More Useful… 100 Best Amazon Alexa Skills: A Printable Cheat Sheet of Alexa Voice Commands