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Is It Safe To Watch The Super Bowl With Alexa Around?

With the upcoming Super Bowl, many Amazon Alexa device owners are becoming increasingly worried about watching Super Bowl 53 with Alexa around. The TV show South Park was one of the first on a major scale to trigger millions of Alexa devices into waking up unexpectedly and executing tasks. In recent years, there have been numerous accounts of Alexa being triggered by hearing her name on TV and then ordering, say, 20 bundles of paper towels off Amazon. Recently, Stephen Colbert hilariously pranked millions of Alexa device owners by doing just that.

With Amazon’s own Super Bowl commercial packed full of Alexa’s wake word, millions of Echo owners are concerned about watching Super Bowl 53 with her around.

But are their fears unfounded?

The short answer, from Amazon, is yes! The long answer, is more like maybe? We’ll explain why below.

In this article we’ll explore: why Amazon believes you shouldn’t be worried about Alexa being triggered during their Super Bowl ad, which celebs are in this year’s Amazon Alexa Super Bowl ad, the best Amazon Alexa skills you should be using in preparation for the Super Bowl, and Alexa’s own predictions on who will win this year’s game.

Will Alexa be triggered during the Super Bowl?

As mentioned before, Alexa waking up after hearing her name on TV isn’t uncommon, so why is Amazon so confident that your Alexa device won’t wake up during their Super Bowl ad this year? Well, recently Amazon unveiled that, now, Alexa uses acoustic fingerprinting to track when she should wake. They claim that because of this, no one’s Alexa should be triggered during their Super Bowl ad.

But how does acoustic fingerprinting work with Alexa? Well, essentially Amazon has a database, tracking media (TV, commercials, etc.) that includes audio of Alexa’s name, stored both on-device and in the cloud. When Alexa hears her name, she first cross-checks the audio fingerprint against her database of known media to know whether this is an ad or your voice waking her up. This check happens in a matter of milliseconds totally behind the scenes, and with it, Alexa can determine whether to wake up or not.

But there’s a catch! For Alexa to get high-quality audio for the fingerprinting to work, the environment can’t be filled with a bunch of background noise. What Super Bowl party have you ever been to that wasn’t noisy? And this is why we think the answer is not a definitive “yes” but more likely a “maybe.” For many households having your Alexa device on should be fine and the acoustic fingerprinting should work, but for those of you who are hosting large parties, you might still want to consider muting Alexa during the Super Bowl ads.

Who is in Amazon’s Alexa Super Bowl commercial?

Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s talk about this year’s Amazon Alexa Super bowl ad and which celebrities make cameo appearances in it.

This year’s Amazon Alexa Super Bowl ad is titled “Not Everything Makes The Cut,” in which Amazon jokes about its new Alexa-enabled microwave and all the other random things they thought to put Alexa in, like an electric toothbrush or a dog collar, that didn’t work.

Forest Whitaker makes the first appearance using an Alexa enabled toothbrush at night and asking Alexa to read his audiobook while brushing his teeth. At first, this sounds like a great idea but he is unable to hear the book while the toothbrush is in his mouth.

Harrison Ford shows up next with his dog wearing an Alexa-enabled dog collar FOR dogs. The dog is shown running around, barking and subsequently ordering dog food and other dog related items from Amazon. We, for one, would love for Amazon to build an Alexa dog translator.  That way Alexa could tell you what your dog is saying (check out this Pet translator skill).

The ad then goes on to joke about an Alexa-enabled hot tub with an impressive waterworks display and “The Incident”, where a malfunctioning Alexa device, installed on a space station kept turning the power on and off for most of the western US. The one and a half minute commercial already has 15 million views on YouTube and is proving to be a fun and exciting ad for a lot of Alexa users.

Watch it below.

Top 3 Super Bowl Alexa skills

Here are the top three skills we think you should enable in preparation for the Super Bowl.

1. The Rookie’s Guide to the NFL

The Rookie’s Guide to the NFL is your official way to learn about the National Football League. Become an expert by asking about the rules, penalties, scoring plays, commentator lingo, previous Super Bowls, team formations, and more.

2. Follow The Game

Use the Follow The Game skill to find out what radio stations (if any) are playing the Big Game (Super Bowl) where you are or will be at game time.

3. SuperBowl2018Trivia

This skill asks randomly selected questions about last year’s Super Bowl (American Football) Championship game and allows the user to select one answer from multiple choices. It keeps track of the score and announces it after every question.

Who’s Alexa’s pick for the Super Bowl?

If you ask Alexa, “Alexa, who will win the Super Bowl”, she will give you her prediction for this year’s Super Bowl matchup.

2019’s Super Bowl matchup of the New England Patriots against the Los Angeles Rams is going to be a tough one and definitely a hard one to call. The New England Patriots have star quarterback Tom Brady who can never be counted out in the 4th quarter of any game and a high-powered offense to match. Fresh from defeating the Kansas City Chiefs, a team that most expected to be in the Super Bowl instead, the Patriots are looking to silence all the doubters. But this is not their first time around the block.

Then there are the Los Angeles Rams, who also have a high-powered offense with star running backs, Todd Gurley and CJ Anderson. The Rams controversially beat the New Orleans Saints to make it to this year’s Super Bowl with a controversial pass interference no-call that had NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, apologizing for the oversight on behalf of the NFL and the referees

The current odds favor the Patriots by a 6-1 ratio. Alexa seems to agree, stating that “as much as I want the Rams to win you can never count out the New England Patriots. My prediction? The Patriots will be taking home the Vince Lombardi trophy and Tom Brady will need to use his other hand for that sixth Super Bowl ring.”

Conclusion

So there you have it:

  • As far as Amazon’s concerned it IS safe to watch the Super Bowl with your Alexa-enabled device.
  • We’ve discussed what you can expect from this year’s Amazon Alexa Super Bowl ad.
  • We gave you some tips for the best skills to have enabled in preparation for the Super Bowl.
  • And finally, you got to see Alexa pick the Patriots as this year’s Super Bowl winner (though she’s rooting for the Rams).

We want to know your thoughts.

Will you have Alexa enabled during the Super Bowl and who do you predict will win this year’s Super Bowl?

Comment below!

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