For nearly 20 years, the Big Mouth Billy Bass animatronic mounted fish has been belting out “Take Me To The River” and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” It was once a popular novelty gift, but it’s not exactly useful. However, Billy Bass may have finally achieved his ultimate purpose, thanks to a clever hack.
Via The Verge, developer Brian Kane has apparently turned a Billy Bass into a body for Amazon’s Alexa personal assistant app. In the video below, the Billy Bass responds to the Alexa prompt, and its mouth movements match the words spoken by Alexa’s voice.
Kane didn’t explain how he pulled off this feat, but The Verge theorized that he used the Alexa API, which lets programmers place Alexa in third-party hardware. It’s also unclear if the Billy Bass/Alexa hybrid can do everything that a standard version of Alexa can. However, if it keeps the fish from singing the same two songs over and over again, then we’re very much in favor of this change!
We have to admit that Big Mouth Billy Bass wouldn’t have been our first choice for this hack, but we admire the ingenuity behind this creation. Alexa was designed to work as part of a “smart home,” but there is something very amusing about giving it a face and a body…even if it is just a talking fish. We’re not sure if this trick would work with Siri or Cortana, but it should be interesting to see what other developers will come up with in the future.
What did you think about the Big Mouth Billy Bass and Alexa hack? Sing us your thoughts in the comment section below!
Image: Brian Kane