Dancing bears, drones and clocks: the weirdest Alexa devices we’ve seen so far

Amazon’s Alexa is arguably the best-known virtual voice assistant in the world, with just under 70% of U.S. smart speaker users expected to be using an Echo speaker. in 2021.

The popularity of the voice assistant is largely due to the number of things it can do. You can use Alexa to control your smart home devices, set calendar reminders, and even make calls. And that’s not just limited to Amazon’s own devices – there are many third-party manufacturers of wireless speakers and smart home devices that have added the voice assistant to their own products.

While adding Alexa to a smart speaker seems like a no-brainer, there are plenty of weird devices that have been given the skills of the AI ​​assistant. From dancing teddy bears to washing machines, Alexa really is everywhere – and there might soon be a new influx of Alexa devices into your smart home.

Amazon has announced that it will be holding its annual hardware and services event on September 28 at 9 a.m. PST / 12 p.m. EST / 5 p.m. BST – that is, 2 a.m. AEST on September 29 if you’re in Australia.

As the big event neared, where we got to see new Echo speakers as well as upgrades to Amazon Music, Prime Video, and Amazon Luna, we took a look at the weirder devices to get Alexa compatibility.

the amazon echo wall clock

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Amazon Echo wall clock

Running Alexa with a clock actually seems like a good idea – after all, one of the biggest questions the voice assistant gets is “what time is it?” So having that physically represented in the wall clock. Amazon Echo makes sense.

Priced at $ 29.99 / £ 29.99 / AU $ 49, it comes with a 10-inch clock face with 60 LEDs that light up to indicate timers set on a paired Echo device. Unfortunately, there are no microphones or speakers built into the clock itself, so you’ll have to give commands to a separate Alexa speaker.

the amazon basics microwave with alexa

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Amazon Basics Alexa Microwave

Like the Alexa wall clock, Amazon’s smart microwave only works with a separate Echo speaker. In addition to working with your voice, the microwave has an Ask Alexa button you can press to tell it what’s cooking.

Costing $ 59.99 (around £ 45 / AU $ 80), the microwave now appears to have been discontinued – at least it’s not available on Amazon at the time of writing. Suppress your sneers, though: like Forbes’ Steve Aquino points out, the Alexa microwave has made the kitchen accessible to those who cannot use the normal buttons by adding a voice option.

always ring home with alexa

(Image credit: Ring)

Ring Always Home Cam

Last year’s Amazon hardware event saw a total design refresh of the Echo speaker line – as well as a continuation of the love affair with drones, with its home security company Ring, is taking off.

The $ 250 Ring Always Home Cam (approx £ 180 / AU $ 345) is a self-contained indoor drone that flies around your home and gives you a live mobile feed of what’s going on if it detects an intruder – quite futuristic, even a little voyeuristic. Like other Ring security cameras, you should be able to ask Alexa to show the stream on an Echo Show smart screen, fast forward and rewind with your voice alone.

Despite launching a year ago, we still don’t have a firm release date, but the next Amazon event could change that.

Sharp smart devices

Sharp Smart Works range with Alexa

Unveiled at CES 2019 (anyone else remember the tech events in person ?!), this kitchen line from Sharp consists of a 75-liter oven, four-door fridge / freezer, a smart dishwasher and a 10kg washing machine, all supporting commands via Alexa.

As Kevin Lynch reported at the timeThe washing machine was what really motivated us. Its skills include 22 specialized stain removal programs, which include a dedicated chocolate cleaning option that will likely be popular with parents.

Gemmy Twerking Bear

This is where things get really silly. The Gemmy Twerking Bear does pretty much exactly what you’d expect, rocking rude sound to the beat of your Amazon Music tracks. When you ask Alexa a question, she even wiggles her animatronic lips in response, as if Alexa inhabits her very soul. Not satisfied with only dancing to music, the Gemmy Twerking Bear also vibrates when an Alexa timer, alarm, reminder, or notification is triggered.

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