To simplify her Christmas shopping as much as possible, my mom always asks all of us to make a list and even to include links if we can. One of the items Yankee asked for and received was an Amazon Echo. Maybe you have seen it in the ad with Alec Baldwin. So many of our friends have asked about it that I thought I would give my review and thoughts about this must-have gadget.
I grew up in the age of the Jetsons, and it is amazing to think that today’s technology is kind of/sort of like theirs. They had “Rosie” and in my world the Amazon echo is the closest thing to her. There’s also Roomba that will vacuum your house and a mower that will mow your lawn. We personally do not own them, but I am curious if anyone does and your thoughts if you do. (Oh, and on a side note – if you have never seen this video involving a cat and a Roomba, then you have to watch. I have seen it a ton of times and cry laughing every time.)
Our Echo sits on a small side table in our house, and this gadget is easy to decorate around. I did have it hidden but have moved things around for these photos. It is on the table that has framed pictures of Little Miss, a lamp, and some plants.
So how does the Echo work? We have it set so that when we say “Amazon,” she wakes up with the light. I made the picture dark so you could see. That means she hears us, and we can ask questions right away.
What can she do? Every morning when I walk down the stairs, I say “Amazon, play NPR.” Voila! She plays NPR. Later “Amazon, play my Zach Brown station on Pandora.” Then I am listening to my country music. Before I head outside I ask, “Amazon what is the weather, Amazon what is the traffic?”
I tend to use her the most when I am in the kitchen. My hands might be messy, and I can just say “Amazon ,set a timer for 35 minutes.” If I notice I am out of something like almonds, I just say, “Amazon, add almonds to my shopping list.” When I go shopping, I open the app, there is my shopping list and even my to-do list. I consider her the hands-free version of Siri (the iPhone maven), but Siri is a little bit smarter. A few times we have asked her simple questions, and she didn’t know the answer . One thing we did question was the Super Bowl ad for the Echo where Alec Baldwin was asking her some questions. Yankee and I looked at each other and thought, “Yeah, right. We thought she might not know the answer, and that was just for the ad.” We then asked those same questions out loud to our Amazon, and she didn’t understand what we were asking. I guess that’s marketing (or is it false advertising?)
At the end of the day we are both fans of the Echo, and I am shocked how often we use the word amazon in our daily vocabulary. We will be having dinner and be talking about how I ordered this from Amazon, or I am waiting on my package from Amazon, etc., and she lights up. I love having music on around the house, making lists, and finding out the temperature all by just walking around and talking. We even tested out Amazon and asked her to play kids songs. Since we are Amazon prime members (which you need to be for that particular service), she started playing kids tunes. (I’m sticking to my country music till Little Miss arrives.) (;
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