Sure, there are a variety of things Alexa can do — such as order groceries, make playlists and tell jokes — but the usefulness of those things is rather subjective. Lost phone on the other hand? That’s something that affects approximately 99 percent of humans at some point and makes everyone everywhere hostile.
It is also something Alexa can now fix for you.
Starting yesterday, TrackR announced that it has paired with Alexa to make finding a lost phone as easy as saying “Alexa, ask TrackR to find my phone.”
At which point the phone will ring, even if on silent mode.
“Nearly half of all mobile phone users misplace their phone at least once a week. With the new TrackR skill for Amazon Alexa, customers can now say, ‘Alexa, ask TrackR to find my phone’ and get an immediate answer, rather than ‘Honey, where’s my phone?’ followed by 5 minutes of frantic searching,” Christian Johan Smith, president and co-founder of TrackR, said in a statement.
And for consumers whose issues with lost items run deeper than their phones, TrackR also make dongles that can be attached to keys, wallets or backpacks — essentially allowing users to “call” their keys.
“Now our busy Alexa customers have an additional skill to help them get out the door, and on with their day that much easier – losing your phone between the couch cushions is officially a problem of the past with the new TrackR skill and hands-free convenience of Alexa,” said Rob Pulciani, general manager of Amazon’s Alexa division.
TrackR is one of several firms Amazon has invested in (to the tune of $250K-$500K) in pursuit of pushing the limits of what their smart AI virtual assistant can do. The Alexa fund has brought needed dollars to 15 startups, mostly focused on smart homes and wearables. Next time around ideas like robotics, health care and developer tools will also be likely candidates for funding.