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April 12, 2018

Alexa now recaps NBA and NHL game stats

by John_A

Voice assistants aren’t great for sports buffs. They can provide the latest scores or tell you when your favorite team will play, but they rarely dive headlong into stats. Amazon, however, thinks it can dig a little deeper. It just gave Alexa the ability to recap NBA and NHL games, including the stats for individual players. You can find out how many points LeBron James scored in his last game (as of this article, 26), or have Alexa summarize the latest Maple Leafs match (they won).

Alexa is now much smarter about playoffs, for that matter. You can ask when the next NBA or NHL playoff game starts, which teams made the cut for a given round and even get playoff-specific statistics, such as the number of goals Sidney Crosby has scored. At least a few of these features have been present to some degree with other voice helpers (Google Assistant and Siri will happily tell you who’s playing next in the NHL playoffs), but the additional depth is definitely appreciated.

There’s no mystery as to why Amazon is expanding these features. Sports have been a staple of voice assistants for years, even if the functionality hasn’t been as robust as it could be. If Amazon can claim even a slight advantage in sports questions, it might convince you to buy an Echo speaker (or another Alexa device) knowing that you’ll get better answers about your favorite team.

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