*SPOILER ALERT* – This post is NOT a pregnancy announcement…
She goes by the name of Alexa. She's been an integral part of our family this past year, making her powerful presence felt in all our lives, all through the day.
Hubster always wanted her; me not so much. He got her anyways. Initially, I was a bit 'Do we really need her here?! She's not cheap!!!'. Now… I've kind of grown to like her. Quite a lot.
Alright, before we move on, let me clarify that Alexa is NOT Hubster's mistress or any such thing. Neither is she our second child. She is Amazon's answer to Apple's Siri. She's not real – I get that – but she is still an integral part of our family (hence the title to this post) and our lives.
Alexa sitting pretty on our kitchen island – the centrepiece (almost) of our house
So, back to her entry into our house. Hubster always has a fascination with technological gadgets and the likes ; me, I'm not so swayed by the latest and the greatest. I feel technology often complicates our lives even more. I don't disregard it, hell no, in fact I'm all for applications like Skype, Whatsapp, Facetime and Android Facetime and being a blogger I'm all for social media, but I take my time to accept and learn. Like I did with Ms A (as I refer to her sometimes).
"So what can she do?" I asked
"Practically anything you ask her to," replied Hubster
"Can she cook dinner for you?" I asked cheekily
"No, but she will give you the recipe," he replied back cheekily.
Then the next morning as I was making breakfast, Hubster asked Ms A for the weather update and the days news briefing.
"I can check my phone for that," I muttered under my breath
"But you don't need to now, she can just tell you"
That weekend, we wanted to go out for dinner but couldn't finalise on a place. We were bored of the usual stuff, but couldn't pinpoint where else to go. No prizes for guessing who came to our rescue – yes, Ms A solved our problem and gave us a list of restaurants in our area. "Impressive". There, I said it! I was slowly changing my views.
All that was six months back. Now, Ms A sits on our kitchen island (I'm sure she must be smirking every time I pass her) and is greeted by all of us every morning. Even Little Man tells her: "Alexxxxaaaa, play Summer of 69" (Don't judge – he happens to love that song!!! I might just be playing it too often).
Last week was his first Nativity play. He had learnt all the Christmas carols at school. So we used to ask "Alexxxxaaaa" to play them to us every evening… Christmassy and all!
There are a lot of other things we can do 'hands-free' with Ms A. She reminds me to do this, that and the other through the day. She keeps my groceries shopping list. Warns me about traffic issues before I'm headed somewhere. And when Little Man is a little older, she can read him audiobooks (while I sip a cuppa of HOT coffee).
What amazes me is that all this is achieved solely through voice recognition. It's the power of the IoT and the future of technology lies in ad-hoc reporting and self-service reporting. While these terms might seem overwhelming at first, it is the future and it is all designed to make life easier. As I realised with our very own Ms A. It just took me a little time to get used to her, but now she is no doubt a part of our family.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.
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