You didn’t know you needed them in your life, but now that they’re together, you probably won’t be able to resist either the singing fish of the early 2000s or Amazon’s Alexa. For those of us who remember Big Mouth Billy Bass, that ridiculous and somehow immensely popular fish that would wag its tail and sing songs, we can now rejoice anew now that the device has been brought into the 21st century. A man, or rather, genius named Brian Kane, has turned one of these animatronic trophies into a physical embodiment of Alexa, and if it doesn’t make your day, that’s on you.
Kane, an artist, is keeping his cards a bit close to the vest and has yet to reveal exactly how he did it, though it’s really more the idea than the mechanics we’re so interested in. After all, now that he’s done it, we’re all left wondering why none of us thought of it before. What’s next? An Alexa-enabled Tickle Me Elmo? Actually, we would love to see that.
If you’re looking for a way to make your own Big Mouth Alexa Bass contraption, chances are you can do so by way of the Alexa API, which has been around since April, allowing developers to integrate the AI assistant into various third-party devices. As The Verge points out, because the Bass doesn’t come with a built-in microphone, it’s likely that it’s using an offboard microphone that isn’t seen in the video. Alternatively, Kane might’ve just put the workings of an Amazon Echo into Billy and called it a day.
In any case, the results are equal parts hilarious and, depending on your feelings regarding fish, somewhat terrifying. If you watch the Facebook video, you can see the already creepy fish moving its mouth to form Alexa’s words.
So if you want to build one of these guys yourself, all you need is the Big Mouth, which will only set you back about $20, and then the technical know-how to hack it with Alexa. But just think of the reward — you could ask Billy who it thinks will win the presidential election! And if that’s not motivation enough, we don’t know what is.