WHAT: Labracadabra, a new science experiment platform by GE, with some assistance from Amazon Echo’s Alexa.
WHY WE CARE: "Alexa, how do I start a thermonuclear war?" Okay, not quite. But GE has put Alexa to work, talking through a range of cool science experiments, for which it has also created kits and some pretty mesmerizing Tasty-like videos. The platform is called Labracadabra (geddit?) and lives on Facebook. So far six slightly hair-raising experiments have been filmed in the style of those super-short, rather hypnotic, insanely popular BuzzFeed recipe videos. You can purchase the ready-made kits (from $29.99), and then Alexa will talk you through the actions needed.
The idea behind building your own Lava lamp, or creating a "Lemon Volcano", or choreographing a bubble ballet is to not just for fun (though who could resist conjuring up a heat-generating "Foaming Fountain?"), but also to enlighten people as to the real-world applications used at scale, and worked on by GE scientists and engineers every day.