Below is a working list of "skills" for Amazon Echo that might be useful for hosts & guests (additional suggestions welcome!). I've organized them by technical difficulty for the host.
- Questions about news, sports, weather & traffic
- Easy access to music and playlists
- Easy access to simple questions about local area
- Easy access to entertainment and food options (e.g, info about nearby movies, pizza)
- Easy access to audiobooks, podcasts & wikipedia (e.g., if there's a book about your area or information about a local notable person)
- In kitchen, access to cooking timer, unit conversions, recipes, etc.
- In bedrooms, a voice programmable alarm for "wake up calls" (e.g., $49 Amazon Echo Dot)
- Adjust smart thermostats (like Nest)
- Easy way to send text messages to host
- Adjust smart home lighting (perhaps useful in bedrooms?)
- Turn on / off TV, home theater, other AV (likely requires additional hardware such as smart outlet adapters and a smart home hub)
- Adjust other smart home ready devices like fans and motorized shades
- Custom playlists (e.g., Alexa, play the HOSTNAME playlist, play the New York City playlist)
- Custom FAQs for house (e.g., Where are garbage bags stored? What is the host's favorite restaurant in town? How do we get to the nearby trail?)
- What are options / features for international travelers & non-English speakers?
- Can one play international and non-English news channels easily?
AMAZON’S “THINGS TO TRY”