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5 Alexa skills to try this week

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Below find a list of five noteworthy Alexa skills worth trying selected various Alexa Skills Store categories including Customer Favorites This Week, Top Enabled, and Skills Trending This Week.

In Alexa-related news this week, on Wednesday an Amazon executive who helped bring Alexa to life is now working to give the intelligent assistant better memory and skill discovery, and how the company’s ultimate goal is to make Alexa just like the computer on Star Trek.

Set the Mood

This voice app from condom maker LifeStyles SKYN actually comes with a recommendation that you be 18 or older to use the skill. Say “Alexa, tell Set the Mood I’m feeling sexy” and the skill will play you some sexy songs. You can also ask Set the Mood where to buy condoms (hint: It starts with “A” and ends with “mazon”) or you can serenade your significant other with other playlists from SKYN, with titles like Studded Touch, Elite Sound, Extra Close, Original Beat, and Large Love.

Another skill that incorporates music worth trying comes from the Eurovision Song Contest, which answers trivia questions and can play the winning song from the continent-wide contest dating back to the 1960s.

Glad Leftovers

Every time you finish a meal, you tell this skill what’s left and being added to the fridge, freezer, or pantry. And then… nothing. My assumption into going into this was that when given a combination of leftovers and give you awesome recipes. Nope. Still, this skill was listed Friday in the Customer Favorites This Week category so someone must appreciate the basic ability to log what’s in your kitchen.

With time — and this is generous — it’s possible this skill could gather insights and tell you, say, the kinds of foods you don’t eat often in order to avoid wasting food and money, sort of like a mood tracker or the Zyrtec allergy tracker but that’s not something the skill does today on its own.

Categories Game

This game is kind of like Scattegories. Alexa will give a letter of the alphabet then ask questions like cities or countries that start with the letter T for example. With “Right on!” and “Aloha” in this skill’s vernacular, it appear to take advantage of the speechcons library of expressions Alexa first made available for skills developers late last year.

Coldwell Banker

The Coldwell Banker Home of the Week skill connects you with local real estate agents and, of course, tells you about the home of the week.

“As you walk into the grand two level foyer, there’s abstract geometric skylight that covers the entire ceiling. It’s a work of art on a new level,” said a human narrator who describes the home of the week in intricate detail.

Strangely, this skill requires granting permission for the skill to access your address and your Lists inside the Alexa app, but the home of the week is in Beverly Hills. Also strange because I don’t think I’ll be able to afford any 17,000-square foot Beverly Hills homes anytime soon. Rocking idea, but here’s to hoping this skill gets far more practical.

Agents of all kinds are creeping into the Alexa skills ecosystems, as skills have launched for several large insurance companies as well as HomeAdvisor to connect people looking for services with professionals nearby.

Vocabulary Master

Not a whole lot to impressed with by this skill, but especially for the word nerds out there, the synonym-antonym quizzes can be fun.

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