Pre-orders Kick-Off For Talking Retro Fish With Mad Alexa Skills

Posted by at 3:44 pm on November 28, 2018

If you have always wanted to talk with a trophy fish, then you’re in luck. Throw back favorite Big Mouth Billy Bass now has an Alexa enabled version, which is available to preorder for $40.

This gadget has been a long time coming. A developer named Brian Kane first came up with the idea of hacking a Billy Bass to connect to Alexa’s API in 2016, before, in 2017, the makers of the fishy ornament said they were going to make Kane’s idea real. More than a year later, the product is available for preorder, complete with an official “Alexa Gadget” certification.

Unfortunately, you’ll need to connect the Alexa-enabled Billy Bass to an existing Echo device for it to work. But once it’s hooked up, you can use it for all of the usual tasks, including setting timers, answering basic queries, and playing music.

“This is not your father’s Big Mouth Billy Bass,” said Steve Harris, vice president of product development at Gemmy Industries, the company that makes the Big Mouth Billy Bass, in a press statement.

And, well, it is and it isn’t. It may be Alexa-enabled, but the look of the thing hasn’t changed since it was first sold in 1999. Back then, it quickly became a pop culture icon, belting out tunes like “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin and “Take Me to the River” by Al Green. It appeared in TV shows like The Simpsons and The Sopranos, and it charmed its way into the homes of the great and good, from George W. Bush to Queen Elizabeth.

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