We got Alexa, the Amazon Echo girlie, today. Apart from the fact that I think my husband may have a schoolboy crush on her, I think she’s a welcome addition to our family. Well, she doesn’t make any mess and is fairly polite. So that’s a start.
I can picture me using her to control the music, the heating and to convert those American cups in recipes to grams. But there are some additions that could (should!) be made to make her that bit more useful to parents.
1. Baby listening mode
Using the Echo dot it should be simple to make Echo into a baby monitor. She could alert you when there is a noise coming from upstairs, and play a recording of what she heard.
2. Anti – Squabbling mode
“Alexa play Sesame Street”
“NO! Alexa, play Iron Man”
“I detect squabbling. Anti squabbling mode is enabled. The TV will cease to function for 5 minutes”
3. Tidy Up Time
The Echo could be loaded with a few songs such as the ‘brushing teeth ‘ song, the ‘pee pee in the potty’ song and the all important ‘tidy up’ song. They could play at certain times of day so that it’s not us nagging our children, it’s Alexa.
4. The “shedidit” prover
You’ve walked into the room and there’s nail varnish all over the carpet and 2 guilty faces looking at you.
“She did it! !”
“NO, he did it!'”
“Alexa, who is to blame?”
“On this occasion it was Sam”
Alexa can choose randomly or play back the last 5 minutes of conversation. Either way, it gives you someone to blame so you can punish and move on, instead of spending an eternity trying to get the truth out.
Dinner is ready. How can you get everyone downstairs without an uncouth “Diiiinnerrrr”!!?
Tell Alexa that dinner is ready and get her to do the shouting. Repeat as necesssary.