20-12-2018 | | By Moe Long
In Dec. 2018, Amazon launched its Big Mouth Billy Bass with Alexa compatibility. Sure, it sounds like a goofy premise, especially when juxtaposed with Stanley Kubrick’s sprawling vision in his genre-defining sci-fi film “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Still, the Alexa Big Mouth Billy Bass touts (or trouts?) a nifty set of skills which posit it as a hybrid of smart home and consumer tech.
Back in 2016, developer Brian Kane hacked a Big Mouth Billy Bass and, with Alexa’s API, added artificial intelligence (AI) support via Alexa. Now, an official version from Gemmy Industries offers an Alexa-enabled Big Mouth Billy Bass. Unlike the majority of smart assistants such as Amazon Echo devices or Google Assistant speakers, the Big Mouth Billy Bass comes in a decidedly non-smart home form factor.
It’s a growing trend evident even among Alexa devices. Later generation iterations of Amazon’s Alexa gadgets offered interchangeable outer pieces which appeared more home appropriate, eschewing the metal grille of its previous speaker aesthetic. Offering smart home tech in consumer-oriented packages fuses the gap between power users and the average homeowner.
Moreover, the decision to create an official Alexa Big Mouth Billy Bass proves Amazon’s willingness to adopt developer demand and incorporate maker creations into their product line. Still, it’s an inventive means of delivering Alexa connectivity. It does function with Amazon Music, but necessitates an external Alexa device. This added creativity should manifest in more devices boasting Alexa connectivity.