Now there’s an Alexa skill to help out Raspberry Pi tinkerers

Alexa Pi Spy Skill

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, 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, 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.

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).