Alexa is constantly getting new functionality via third-party skills, and a fresh one will likely be of interest to Raspberry Pi owners, as it allows for clarifying certain details while working with the compact computer board.
The idea of the Pi Spy skill is that you can ask Alexa about any of the pins on the Pi’s GPIO header and their respective functions, or their location.
So for example, you can say: “Alexa, ask Pi Spy what is Pin 2.”
Or: “Alexa, ask Pi Spy where is GPIO 16.”
As Matt Hawkins, who developed the skill, explains (opens in new tab), this sort of GPIO information can easily be looked up elsewhere, but by using a voice assistant, you can check things while you’re absorbed in the process of soldering, or when your hands aren’t otherwise free.
Project and enunciate
As ever when talking to Alexa on whatever device you have, you should speak reasonably slowly and clearly, and Hawkins further notes that you should also pronounce GPIO as ‘gee-pee-eye-oh’ (and hope that Alexa doesn’t fire up ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’ from Prime Music).
The Pi Spy skill can also inform you regarding basic details of when a particular model of the Pi was released.
It’s a free skill which you’ll find here (opens in new tab), although note that it’s only available in the UK for the time being. Hawkins is hopeful that Amazon will draft it across for US users, and he’s currently adding support for an American English version in anticipation of that happening sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile, yesterday, we heard that Alexa is heading for a lot more Windows laptops than we initially figured, later on this year.
Image credit: Raspberrypi-spy.co.uk (opens in new tab)
- We’ve rounded up the best Alexa skills and commands right here