Planning a party can be pretty stressful. Thankfully, new technology is on hand to make things much easier and help you to host the perfect party.
For example, the Amazon Echo and its in-built voice assistant, Alexa, can help at every stage of planning a party. From sending the invitations to booking taxis for your guests to go home, the Amazon Echo is the perfect device to have by your side.
If you’re new to smart home tech and smart speakers, you can get a feel for how they work by asking Alexa questions for yourself with the interactive experience below and understand how useful they are.
Planning the party
You can use the Amazon Echo to make sure you stay on top of the one hundred and one things you need to do to make the ultimate party. For example, you can set reminders of the dates to buy drinks, buy food, start cooking and even the party itself. To set one, just say, “Alexa, remind me…” Alexa will ask you on what date and time you want to be reminded and will give you an alert at the correct time. Handy.
Inviting your guests
Thanks to its huge number of features, you could be forgiven for forgetting that the Echo can be used as a communications device. You can send messages directly to anyone with an Amazon Echo, an Alexa compatible device or the Alexa app by saying, “Alexa, send a message,” and then dictating it. You can also type out messages in the Amazon Echo app, or (if you’ve got an Echo Show or Echo Spot) make video calls direct from the device.
Finding the right recipes
If you’re looking to dazzle guests with your culinary skills, Alexa is the perfect way to find new ideas, and work out what ingredients you need. Just say, “Alexa, find me a recipe for lamb,” for example, and Alexa will offer a few ideas from Recipedia or BBC Good Food skills. Once you’ve settled on one, Alexa will give you the details of what you need.
If you’re planning to make your party go with a bang, there are Alexa skills that can help you find the perfect cocktail recipe. To find a selection of cocktail recipes, go into the Alexa app, then select the three-lined menu option, then Skills and Games, then search ‘cocktail’. You’ll find a range of options including ‘Bar’ and ‘What Cocktail’. If you’re puzzled over obscure ingredients in any of the recipes, just ask, for instance, “Alexa, what is triple sec?” and Alexa will explain.
Finding the right wines to pair
You can impress your friends by showing off your expert wine knowledge. Well, Alexa can also suggest wines to pair with your food. Simply say, “Alexa, which wine goes with…” and your Echo will offer suggestions. Usually, the Echo will offer suggestions of grape varieties which might flatter your dishes, rather than recommending individual wines. There are also a variety of Alexa Skills which can offer more in-depth recommendations.
Shopping for everything
Planning a party usually requires a ‘big’ shop. The Amazon Echo is the perfect shopping helper. It lets you add items to your shopping list at any time, without the need to scrabble around looking for a pen and paper. Just say, “Alexa, add pineapple to my shopping list” and it will be synced with your smartphone’s Alexa App. So, when you’re at the shops, you can simply whip out your phone and see everything you need.
Playing some mood music
Get your guests in the mood to party with music from Amazon Echo, with the more powerful Echo Plus and Echo Sub offering even bigger sounds. Just ask, “Alexa, play party music,” or “Alexa, play jazz,” to set the mood you want. Alexa works with Amazon Music and also third-party services such as Spotify, so you can play personalised playlists or albums you want to hear.
Ensuring your recipes come out just right
Never forget that you put the canapes in the oven ever again. You can rely on the Echo’s multiple kitchen timers to ensure everything comes out just right. To set a reminder for the sausage rolls, for instance, just say, “Alexa set a sausage roll timer for 10 minutes”, and Alexa will tell you when they are done to perfection.
Playing after-dinner games
When the plates are cleared away, the Amazon Echo is loaded with perfect after-dinner games, including trivia games. To find a selection of trivia games you can say “Alexa, play a game” or go into the Alexa app and select the three-lined menu option, then Skills and Games, then search ‘trivia’. You’ll find a range of fun options to try out with your friends.
Booking your guests a cab home
When it’s time to wrap things up, Alexa can book you a cab directly from the device. There are a range of taxi skills you can add to the Echo. Just pick your preferred taxi service and when you’re ready to book, just ask Alexa to book it and a car will be with you ASAP. Easy.