As a smart home writer and editor, you can probably imagine the amount of it Smart Technology is all over my house. I can hardly walk a few feet without seeing some smart tech, be it smart plugs, lights, kitchen appliances, air purifiers, security cameras or home hubs – they are all there to help a sister. I have Google Home Nest and Amazon Echos and Dots all over my house.
All of these can be somewhat intrusive and completely out of mark while watching TV. Google Nest will say something out of the ordinary because of what is heard on TV. The Echo Show will also try to be helpful and offer a recipe for a phrase I heard while watching The original chef. FYI, Alexa, I don’t want the clam chowder recipe because you heard the word clambeck.
All of this makes me think… if I really do all the things that eco shows tell me to do all day. What should I learn?
How entertaining is Alexa?
While working, I kept the Echo Show in my office and waited for my first prompt. Alexa wanted to know if I wanted to hear a joke about a superhero. I said, “Alexa, call me a superhero joke.” The response was, “What was Bruce Wayne’s favorite baby toy? Batter mobile.” I laughed. I love jokes, jokes. Towards the end of the day, he told me, which was just above my alley, “Why did the turtles cross the road? I don’t know yet, he is still crossing. ” I like this kind of joke, but in reality, it’s the only kind of joke called Alexa.
Days later, Alexa thought I wanted to listen to some songs. Sure, why not? What do you think, Alexa? Prompt showed me the country song No one is to blame. I played it but didn’t like it. Throughout the afternoon all the other options were country music. I never play country songs. This is not on our music list. I stopped the song half way, and Alexa still asked me if I wanted to play another country song all day.
When that didn’t work, Echo Show wanted to know if Alexa could be my new workout DJ. Sadly, Alexa, I don’t need a workout DJ because I use it MYX II Plus fitness bikes, and a playlist of all those workouts. I thought, what gives, Alexa?
Music wasn’t Alexa’s only attempt to entertain me as Echo also shared some skills and videos. After trying Magic Door Skill, One-of-a-kind pick-your-own-adventure games, and Dinosaur World (It sounds just like that), I wondered if Amazon thought I was an eight-year-old. Maybe my thoughts weren’t out of the mark because the next day, Echo suggested seeing me The boys.
I’ve never seen the show before, but Prime knows there’s a bunch of hype about it – and I said Echo prompted me to do it, didn’t I? – I gave it. Sure, it’s a show about superheroes and how they deal with their popularity – reminiscent of the Marvel and DC Comics franchises, but really violent and bloody. At first, I was a bit skeptical, but I saw it, and it turns out I have a new show to watch. Will I stick with it? For at least a few episodes. The ability of the books I read, like the three trial chapters, I give three episodes per show to keep me hooked.
Not so worthy of news
June 23 was a big news day, and Echo didn’t show me much of it. The Senate passed the new gun protection law, the hearing was on Jan. 6, and it was 50M Anniversary of Title IX. Echo only showed me a story about the last item featuring Jill Biden.
What else did I get all day? Here is a list:
- Matthew Fitzpatrick won the US Open.
- Food and Drug Administration Approves Gadget Guard Screen Protector Block the blue light. The company has developed filtering technology with the help of eye specialists. Studies show that children are twice as likely to be exposed to blue light as adults.
- Asian Carp is changing its name to boost Illinois’ popularity. Clearly, they are an invasive species. New name? Copy. The fish tastes mild like tilapia and name-changing officials are hoping to make the fish more popular with diners. This strategy has been successful before.
- Forty-eight golfers are playing LIV golf tours
- There is a heat advice for my area.
Inspirational food and shopping prompt
A fair amount of prompts revolve around food, and they haven’t changed much throughout the day – even after I approached the options. The options were all on the map. Echo showed off the recipe for an air sauce vid steak with a bowl of gram veg and asparagus in a vegan salsa verde. Hmmm, I’m not a fan of vegetarian food, and I don’t have one sous video machine.
I scrolled through the food options on the screen and found ready foods from Whole Foods, Healthy Recipes, Trending Recipes and nearby restaurants. None of this gave me a fancy tickle, but it told me it didn’t actually know my food preferences.
Oddly enough, I got the only real shopping prompt all day about the best coffee maker. Now, I know a thing or two about coffee makers, reviewing them over the years, so I was curious that Amazon – or rather Amazon reviewers – thought best. They showed me the most basic coffee maker on the market: a Black + Decker 12-cup coffee maker and a standard Mr. Coffee model. Amazon gave Black + Decker a better rating even though Mr. Coffee had the same amount of stars and more ratings. All in all it could show me getting to buy something, why a basic coffee machine?
One feature I use and really like about Alexa is that it reminds me of an upcoming appointment. Echo didn’t disappoint, warning me about the next day’s meeting and planned activities. Then, it also told me things I didn’t necessarily want to know, like the last station I heard was OPB and I played jazz music in Pandora. Interestingly, we used Google Nest to listen to OPB and jazz music.
So how did you know that? I thought, is it coming to the ears of Google Nest? (We two assistants would love to see what they would say against each other.) Then, I realized our Pandora and iHeartRadio accounts were linked to our Amazon account. Once I figured out how I knew it, I wondered why on earth it would tell me what someone else in the house was listening to.
Well, in short, I’ve learned that Alexa doesn’t really know me, that Johnny Mitchell sings about the clouds. Then I have to ask, “Well, whose fault is it?” At some level, I’m a little guilty. I don’t spend the time I need to teach him about my every choice. Amazon, on the other hand, knows what products I buy, my whole food buying habits, and what I see in Prime, so you’d have a better idea of how to tailor my experience. Case in point: The sport I watch is football – I’ve never found anything related to golf.
Have I enjoyed learning about other things in the world? A little, but after a while, I realized that I had no interest in what Echo had shown me all day. It’s going back to the kitchen where I can show it to me how to make specific recipes, weather reports and if any package arrives.