The Most Outrageous Things Alexa is Helping People Do

Amazon's Alexa devices are being used for some innovative purposes | © Amazon
Amazon's Alexa devices are being used for some innovative purposes | © Amazon
Photo of Peter Ward
Tech Editor6 April 2018

Alexa has brought artificial intelligence into our homes and for the most part, the world is loving the new robotic assistance. The gadget has become a household-help, capable of re-ordering supplies, telling the time, the weather, and generally organizing your life. But with a few simple hacks, you can also make Alexa do some pretty weird tasks.

Flush your toilet

This is perhaps the strangest job you can assign to Alexa. It’s not easy or cheap to do, but if you’re determined to control through talking to Alexa, then it can be done. You can go out and buy one for around $6,000, but if you’re feeling more adventurous you can make one using an IR remote and something called a WiFi development board, and if you follow these instructions, you’ll be shouting at your toilet in no time, and getting a response.

Turn your hair straighteners off

Every closet curly haired person fears leaving their hair straighteners on and returning to their apartment to find a smoldering ruin of ashes. So why not ask Alexa to do it? If you use a WeMo Smart Plug, which is compatible with Alexa, you can ask Alexa to turn off whatever is plugged in for you. And the even better news? If you’ve already gone out and are worried you still have them plugged in, you can turn them off remotely with the Alexa app.

Play a murder mystery game

We all get down time alone at home when we’re not sure what to do, so why not play a game with Alexa? To launch the game, simply tell Alexa to “Open the Wayne Investigation” and you’ll be plunged into a choose your own adventure-style story where you attempt to solve the murders of Batman’s parents. It also works well with friends, and you can argue over which course of action to take for hours. There are plenty of other games you can play with Alexa, including the likes of Jeopardy and 20 Questions.

Annoy your housemates

There’s a very easy way to use Alexa to annoy people. Tell Alexa to “Open the box of cats” and it will play a very loud annoying meow. Keep doing that and you’ll have induced the most satisfying rage in no time.

The wailing cat noises may also annoy dogs | © Amazon

Cook your food for you

Alexa can help with recipes and measurements, but if you have the right tools, your Alexa device can do the cooking for you too. The ChefSteps Joule is a cooking device that you put into water with your food and it heats it and cooks it for you. And the Wi-Fi enabled gadget is also Alexa convertible, meaning you can sync it up and keep track on how it’s doing through Alexa.