Random Observation/Comment #517: It’s always listening for its name. Why can’t I call it Jarvis? ‘Alexa’ makes the wifey upset.
I bought the Amazon Echo a week ago and I’ve been playing around with all its functions. Yes, Siri is basically the same thing and probably does a better job with normal searches/questions, but I still have to hand it to Amazon for creating a really useful product. I had my suspicions that I would stop using it and do it the manual way (like I do with my phone in public instead of speaking to it), but I honestly like the voice commands in the confine of my own home.
It feels so much like we have an indentured servant (or secretary) living with us that my fiance feels compelled to say “Thank you” after the actions happen. It’s always good to have manners so the machines will show mercy when they rule.
- “Amazon, turn on the Lights” – “Lights” includes the two Philips hues strips in our studio that separates the living room and bedroom.
- “Amazon, dim the Bedroom to 30%” – “Bedroom” is for the strips on the bedroom
- “Amazon, set a timer for 5 minutes” – My fiance often says she’ll be ready in 5 minutes, but it often takes much longer. This is also really handy for cooking.
- “Amazon, wake me up at 6AM tomorrow” – sets an alarm for the next day quickly. This can also be tweaked to be recurring on the main app
- “Amazon, snooze” – when I inevitably try not to wake up at 6, it will bother me again like a good mommy
- “Amazon, stop” – Useful for the morning alarms
- “Amazon, play Pandora Frank Sinatra station” – Since it’s connected to my Pandora account, it will automatically play my Frank Sinatra music shuffle
- “Amazon, shuffle songs by Dream Theater” – on Prime Music, you can add hundreds of your favorite songs onto your library and it’ll play them all
- “Amazon, play some jazz” – to keep it classy
- “Amazon, play the Workout playlist” – you can create your own playlists on Prime Music and it’s pretty great to get into all kinds of moods
- “Amazon, next.” – when the song just isn’t right
- “Amazon, turn it up” – turn up for what?
- “Amazon, loop” – in case that song is awesome
- “Amazon, volume five (1-10)” – it’s also good to keep it at a reasonable level
- “Amazon, what’s the weather?” – this is really useful in my opinion. Nothing like getting the weather while brushing my teeth
- “Amazon, tell me a joke.” – I only use this one to show off I have an Amazon echo
- “Amazon, Wikipedia: Blockchain.” – Being able to search Wikipedia on a whim is pretty cool
- “Amazon, what’s in the news?” – It’s limited, but not bad
- “Amazon, how many pounds are in a kilogram?” – that’s pretty smart and great for arguments
- “Amazon, play the book ‘Fifty Shades of Grey'” – Connected to Audible and pretty fun during the day
- “Amazon, what’s on my calendar?” – it’s a pretty good overview, but it’d be nice if it were connected to my regular gmail
- “Amazon, what time is it?” – In case I’m too lazy to look at the 5 other things that tell me the time
- “Amazon, when is Christmas this year?” – I wonder this a lot sometimes. Really good for getting the day of the week.
- “Amazon, how are the New York Rangers doing?” – Even though I won’t be happy with the answer, I’m still happy I can ask someone
- “Amazon, what’s the weather like in Hong Kong in June?” – In case you’re traveling
- “Amazon, what’s my commute?” – I don’t drive, but it’s pretty smart
- “Amazon, who’s Doctor Who?” – I was surprised it got this right
- “Amazon, remind me to do my homework” – I don’t have homework anymore, but I want that motherly coddling and nagging sometimes.
- “Amazon, shut up” – in case you get tired of it
- “Amazon, help” – I’m surprised this doesn’t send any distress signal (or does it?). Maybe it understands tone.
Would I recommend getting it? For the novelty, Yes! I’ll let you know if I get tired of it or if it becomes an integral part of my daily activity. As of now, it’s great for setting the mood and cooking timers.
~See Lemons Love the Echo