"Alexa, Tell Everyone What New Features You Have for the World Cup"

By Tom Pritchard on at

Tomorrow is the day the World Cup kicks off in Russia, starting a month that's either going to be a blast with non-stop football action, or the most insufferable month of the past four years. I'm in the latter camp by the way, and while I'd rather ignore the World Cup in it's entirety I'm not allowed to. Because I need to bring you the news that Amazon has updated Alexa with new commands and features that will help you keep on top of everything happening in Russia.

It's quite similar to features Google announced earlier this month, though not quite as in depth because Amazon is primarily focussing on people who don't know a damn thing about football (like me) but want to learn so they don't feel isolated from their friends (honestly I couldn't give a crap about that).

For those who want a quick, but extensive summary, simply ask Alexa "How do I bluff my way through the world cup?" and she'll give you a summary of the days events. If you want more detail than that, you can ask for specific football-related things including:

  • Alexa, what is a ‘false nine’ in football?
  • Alexa, what is advantage in football?
  • Alexa, what is pressing in football?
  • Alexa, what is counter-attacking in football?
  • Alexa, what is ‘putting it in the mixer’ in football?
  • Alexa, what is ‘parking the bus’ in football?
  • Alexa, what is ‘Row Z’ in football?
  • Alexa, why do international footballers win ‘caps’?
  • Alexa, what does it mean when a football player plays ‘in the hole’?
  • “Alexa, when’s the first World Cup game?”
  • “Alexa, what teams are in the World Cup?”
  • “Alexa, who won the last World Cup?”
  •  “Alexa, what country has won the most World Cups?”
  •  “Alexa, what group is Sweden in for the World Cup?”

This also includes trivia, so if you want some football-related facts you can go ahead and ask. The worst Alexa can do is tell you she doesn't know. Unlike your 'friends' she won't mock you for your ignorance. Which is nice, and a great example of why computers are often better than people.

The more football-motivated people who actually want to stay on top of things, and not skate by as an incognito football cultist, there are new commands for you. The main one is "Alexa, what’s the latest with the World Cup?” which will read out in depth match reports and what you can expect in the immediate future. That's alongside:

  • “Alexa, when do England play next in the World Cup?”
  • “Alexa, who scored for Germany?
  • “Alexa, when do Iceland play next in the World Cup?”
  • “Alexa, what’s the score of the Panama game?”
  • “Alexa, did Japan win in the World Cup?”
  • “Alexa, who scored for France?”

All I know is that if I had an Echo I'd be constantly asking when the Cup was due to end, and counting down the days. Also laughing my arse off when England inevitably get relegated in some sort of spectacular fail that generates enough nationwide-anger to power the plane flying them home.