The man-friend and I went to the Amazon Books store last weekend, and [disclaimer on always loving indies best] it’s pretty cool. It’s like walking into your computer, with shelf talkers that show star ratings and top comments. And! They had the Amazon Echo on display, which is a weird Siri-like thing that sits on your table/counter/desk and helps you with stuff. And by “helps you with stuff,” I mean it can play Pandora. Turn off your lights. Order you some milk. Tell you the weather. Explain the meaning of life. (Maybe not that last one.)
Let me just say that I wouldn’t claim to be particularly tech-forward, normally. But since I met Ms. Echo, I’ve been obsessed. Maybe it’s my tiny, inner geek coming out. Maybe it’s that it takes too long to make my TV start Pandora. Maybe it’s the idea of having someone to boss around who will actually listen. For whatever reason, I find that this holiday season, I’m in love with a girl.
And her name is Alexa.
Here are her official features from Amazon:
Plays all your music from Prime Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more using just your voice
Fills the room with immersive, 360º omni-directional audio
Allows hands-free convenience with voice-control
Hears you from across the room with far-field voice recognition, even while music is playing
Answers questions, reads audiobooks and the news, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and more with Alexa, a cloud-based voice service
Controls lights and switches with compatible WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Insteon, and other connected devices
Always getting smarter and adding new features and skills–over 95 added since launch
All I have to say is that I’m glad my birthday is in January. Just in case Santa doesn’t get the memo.