I fell victim to the glitz and hooplah a few weeks ago when Amazon announced that their virtual assistant, the Alexa powered Echo, was coming to Canada. Thus, in a story that is both short and drab, I pre-ordered a heather-grey fabric cylinder of technological wonder that arrived on our doorstep via courier late last evening.
Our home network is a little bit more crowded today.
A few months ago, we installed the Disney Circle, a network parenting tool. It allows us to lightly police our internet traffic by content and usage time. It has had two noticeable effects on our lives: (a) the kid watches measurably less YouTube and (b) we go to bed earlier because we set the network to go completely dark at 11pm and we’re too lazy to disable the setting each night.
A few weeks ago I installed a couple of WiFi enabled switches in the house. They’re handy for vacation (tested and proven true) and the holidays (fancy light timers) and I made sure when I bought them (even before I knew about the Echo) that they were compatible with the Amazon assistant. I could buy more, but I’m not exactly sure just how many voice activated lamps one person needs.
And now, as of last night, we’ve got an Alexa.
I’ll spare the sales pitch. We chose it from the short list of options — siri, google, etc — because we have Prime, and I got free shipping and it will probably do something, someday, with my Kindle or Audible or one of those other services I’ve sold my soul to Amazon for. Today, it’s a voice activated radio and music player. It’s a lazy way of turning the holiday lights off and on. It’s … well… I’m not quite sure what it will do yet.
So, we’ll let the experiment begin: a new era in connectivity in our house… circles, and switches and cylinders, oh my.