Amazon will bring Alexa functionality to Big Mouth Billy Bass toys starting next year.
You read that right: Amazon allowed Alexa, one of the most sophisticated AI assistants on the market, to be compatible with an 18-year-old fad novelty toy whose main appeal is that it’s an animatronic fish. That sings.
Amazon announced the new Alexa-fish onstage at its big Alexa event, at which other partner brands included the likes of BMW.
The AI won’t be integrated directly into Billy Bass — instead, as Amazon SVP Dave Limp explained, a Bluetooth connection will bring Alexa to the fish. The connection will allow users to interact with the fish as a vessel for Alexa, and the AI will control the animatronics, too.
How did this happen? You might recall a certain viral video from last year that showed off a hybrid Alexa/Big Mouth Billy Bass answering questions about the weather.
The hack was created by Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) teacher Brian Kane. He simply titled the video “the future,” unaware that yes, his monstrosity would indeed be duplicated. Now Kane’s Frankenstein will populate the mantles of homes of everywhere, as Amazon said a new commercial version of the Alexa-ready Billy Bass will be available later this year, according to Business Insider.
Take a bow, internet. Y’all went and loved a ridiculous hack so much that corporate America embraced it and made it a part of its high-tech ecosystem. Just remember that you did this to yourself when the talking novelty fish trophy on your wall refuses to shut up.