Alexa is the latest edition to our family, though I’m not sure whether to consider her a family member or a pet. I DO have something resembling an intelligent conversation with her sometimes.
She seems to understand me better than most kids these days do. She is literally the best listener I know: So much as mention her and she will respond, even from 5 rooms away, though she may not always understand the question.
People are better listeners than pets but Dogs have really good hearing… and the way they tilt their head sometimes it looks like they’re TRYING to really listen to you…
Pet or person, she has made her home here in a kitchen corner but she also goes wherever she is needed. So far she has proven useless in the car. Come to find out, it is because they aim to market Alexa FOR the car (sign me up for the beta testing), so even using several devices to run the Wi-Fi and other services that need to be run, it is just definitely not going to work in my car. Theoretically it should work but it doesn’t. So don’t waste your time on that.
Skills are where Alexa really shines. She can do everything from forecasting the weather or delivering the news from whatever source you want, no matter which way you lean politically. She can control your alarm system and lights and other smart home functions. She can make every manner of animal sound, order dinner and tell you what wine to pair with it and she even knows some good jokes, not to mention everything there is to know about Game of Thrones and Star Trek. Sometimes we play 20 questions but we are really enjoying some role playing games we’ve discovered where Alexa gives you the prompts from which your story will unfold. We are also loving the old radio plays from the 1940s as well as podcasts. You would be amazed at what is available, if you’re into that kind of thing.
The limit is the imagination of the market at large, and since anybody can become an Alexa skill developer and it is very simple, the limit is pretty darn high. I’ve already made a few.
Can you imagine how annoying an Alexa X-ray skill (x-ray is the Amazon service that shows you song lyrics When songs are playing) would be? I would probably have her learn it anyway.