Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.So I wake up in the morning. In a zombie like state I’m making a cup of tea and some croissants (get me!) and what am I then doing? Going on my Amazon Fire Kindle and asking for a “Flash Briefing”.
No that’s not some rude short story. It’s Amazon’s way of compiling the news headlines, the local weather, a short snippet from the Daily Show and TV Choice suggestions in a few minutes (all my chosen subjects). That’s it. I can then ask it for my calendar (rarely above one item in that day) and ask it to turn on a classical music radio station from anywhere in the world.
The day begins.
Later I’d ask it for a traffic update on my route to work before I go. My specific route you understand not those around Wales/the UK on the off chance it’s mentioned on the radio.
I can also play something bought on Prime Music or video should I desire it in the evening.
The thing is I’ve barely touched the surface. There are literally hundreds perhaps thousands of “skills” which could be added if I had the time to work my brain round them.
What it does is to throw your thoughts and tasks into one place without thousands of bits of paper to confuse you. There are issues though. We don’t live in a land yet where people walk around supermarkets with tablets with a shopping list on them. So I write down on a piece of paper. Luddite of me I know but at least I’ve marshalled it all in one place beforehand.
But the biggest issue is speaking to Alexa. Anything slightly different to the norm confuses it. Yesterday I asked for the French classical radio station France Musique.
“I’m sorry there’s no France music”
“No France music”
“Sorry there’s no France music”
And this continues. I have to go all Inspector Clouseau like
“France musique” with as much emphasis as I could muster before it brought me to the radio station I desired.
I am balking though at the idea of Alexa connecting to machines. For example I’m not interested in an Alexa controlled microwave unless it’s able to stop during cooking a microwave meal, stirs that meal and then starts again.
Not against communicating with others through it. Though for the moment it seems simpler just picking up the phone.
Still as a sort of personal assistant it is growing on me. Whether too much time will tell.
One final story about the voice commands. Asked wife on Sunday whether she wanted anything when I went to the supermarket the next day.
“Loo rolls” came the response which I duly asked Alexa to put on the shopping list. This it announced.
On the screen however it said I asked for Lou Rawls.
Now if Lidls sells seventies R&B singers. Then I’d be very impressed.
Until the next time.