Day 27: Our New Housemate, Alexa

I decided to jump on the Alexa train a couple of months ago, mostly because I like the idea of telling my house what to do. I ordered 3 of the echo dots…one for the living room, one for my gym and one for my bedroom. My mother took one look at the living room dot and wrinkled up her nose. [She did the same thing 2 1/2 years ago when I presented her with her first smart phone. Now, I challenge you to catch her without it in her hand!]

I spent the next few days asking Alexa stupid questions and then cursing at her when she didn’t know the answer. I set her up to play my Pandora stations or my mother’s Amazon Prime music. I only accidentally ordered something on my mother’s Amazon account once before deciding that it would probably be a good idea for us to adjust our settings so that a 4 digit code was needed for voice ordering. Alexa helped me with my shopping and to-do lists, started serving as my morning wake-up alarm, and would remind me of things whenever asked. But still, I wanted more.

My mother went out of town for 2 weeks, and I took the opportunity to switch out the lightbulbs in the living room for smart bulbs. I also had a smart switch installed to control the porch lights. In my bedroom, another smart bulb went in one lamp, and smart plugs were installed for my nightstand lamp and my fan. It was a start.

Mom came back from her trip and promptly rolled her eyes at the smart bulbs. That night, I went to bed before she did. She told me the next morning that she’d had to turn the livingroom lights off at the switch, because when she said, “Ok Google, turn off the lights,” nothing happened. Well, it wouldn’t, if you insist on asking the competition. Alexa and Google are arch enemies.

Now, 2 weeks later, she’s pointing out other places in the house that need smart lights. I even heard her on the phone the other evening, admitting to her friend that she “thought it was stupid at first, but now I kinda like it.” Score one for me! I wonder what she’ll say when I bring home the smart thermostat and the outdoor security camera….

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