I love my Amazon Echo! But what else can I do with it?
First of all, I’m not a web developer, so go easy on me, but also help me out by being constructive. I’m an Automation Engineer, that is, I design electrical and control systems for manufacturing machines and then program the PLCs, and I write C# interfaces to the machines. I also did some embedded work and some website programming a long time ago, but anything after 2000 is new to me. But I guess that just makes it more exciting!
When I use the web-based control app at echo.amazon.com I can use Google Chrome to watch the network activity. Here’s a list of URLs that my browser hits with responses, with identifying stuff filtered out with “xxx”. I have a cookie set with a session ID, which is probably being used to get my user-specific information.
I heard about the new Amazon Echo and immediately submitted my request. I got an invitation a few weeks later and Alexa (the Echo’s name) arrived the day before we were having all of our friends over for a party. The Out Of Box Experience was great. I have a friend with ADHD and he went nuts with it. I don’t think we ever heard a complete song form beginning to end.
As an aside, my daughters discovered a secret easter egg: Ask Alexa “What does the fox say?” Hilarious!
To be absolutely clear form the beginning, I love my Echo and I am very excited about what Amazon will be doing with it in the future. My favorite two things, besides the music, about Alexa: “Play This American Life” and “Play The Writer’s Almanac”. This blog post is about exploring what ELSE I can do with Alexa.
So here’s what I’ve done and what I learned and what I plan to do. I’ll fill in details later, I just want to get this out there, so people can see that there’s hacking going on with Alexa.