For those that have been living under a rock for the past 6 months, the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot each come accompanied with an A.I. personality called Alexa, which is comparable to Siri from Apple products. The real question at this point is whether Alexa is becoming a necessary part of the home, or is more of a fad that will soon turn into a nuisance for those currently living with the A.I. personality.
My girlfriend has been trying to convince me to purchase an Echo Dot so that can have access to Alexa in the living room. She’s convinced that the device would help not only me, but those who are over at my apartment (like herself). The truth is, I’m not sure if it’s something I want to invest in. Nevertheless, these products are experiencing incredible success in the consumer electronics industry, and it would be a shame to not consider purchasing an Echo or Echo Dot.
Is the Echo or Echo Dot Worth It?
Listen to Music
For starters, one of the biggest benefits of having Alexa in the living room might be her ability to queue up songs with a voice command. The A.I. response of Alexa is also very good, for those that are wanting to ask Alexa to do something like “play top songs from the 70’s” or “play songs by the Beatles”. Sure, these are things my smartphone would be able to do, but it’s nice that Alexa is a part of a speaker that’s better than the ones on my iPhone.
Sometimes it would be fun to have Alexa answer random questions. I remember when Siri first came out and everyone was real excited about this feature. Come to think of it, I can’t think of the last time that I (or anyone else) used Siri to answer a silly question just for the fun of it. But I don’t typically use my phone for silly things like this, and having a speaker setup that anyone could use might be a better way to do it.
Figure Out Times and Directions
Alexa is also advertised as one of the best ways to figure out what traffic is doing and plan accordingly. Those that are concerned with whether they’re going to be able to get to work on time might consider asking Alexa. They can even ask her questions like “Alexa, what’s the news?” like Amazon is suggesting on their homepage.
How Much of This Can I Do on my Phone?
It’s difficult to justify purchasing an Echo or Echo Dot when it feels like the majority of what it can do can already be done from my smartphone. It seems that one of Amazon’s biggest hurdles in marketing the little device is that it’s just a replica of Siri or other A.I. features that are already out there. One real difference is that some studies have shown that Alexa is going to be much more analytical and comprehensive in answer questions.
If it Makes the Girlfriend Happy
At the end of the day, if it makes my girlfriend happy I’m probably going to end up purchasing one of these new devices. After all, when she’s happy so am I, so I’m sure I’ll be happy with this purchase. Still, I can’t help but wonder how necessary the purchase of an Alexa-enabled device really is. These are some of the modern conveniences we expect, the ability to have a speaker answer all of our questions, but it will be interesting to see if these devices stick around or eventually fall to the wayside.
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