As a Weight Watcher and a bit of a tech geek, I was interested in how the Amazon Echo – Alexa performed for me and enhanced my experience.
We already had an Echo in the kitchen and had added Echo Dots for the bedroom, the deck and the garage.
The Echo in the kitchen is quite useful for kitchen timers such as “Alexa, set an egg timer for 6 minutes” and “Alexa, How much time is left on the egg timer”. The ability to name the timer allows you to separate different timers and is especially handy if you have multiple timers going off close together. You can also say Alexa, give me a timer for 30 minutes or set an alarm for 4pm which is also handy.
My favorite is measurement and temperature conversions like “Alexa, what’s 180 degrees Celsius in Fahrenheit”? or “How many tablespoons in 3/4 of a cup”?
You will also hear us saying “Alexa, turn the dining room lights on” or “Close the garage door”. There are hundreds of different connected devices like thermostats, electric plugs and lights if you like that kind of things.
The Echo is a little bit of overkill for the kitchen but does give excellent bass sound for that inevitable “kitchen dance party” but the DOT is a great value and can be paired with Bluetooth speakers if you truly want a deep resonating sound which is more flexible than the Echo.
For something so complex, set up was actually pretty simple. Download the app from the store of your choice and follow the instructions. You will need to provide WiFi access and additional Amazon Dots can be added via the app as well.
Skills are like apps on your phone but for the Echo which enables Alexa to talk with other devices, such as lights, thermostats, door locks etc… as well as interact with other applications which can use Alexa as a media device. Need a cocktail recipe, load a skill for cocktails.
Every Friday night my wife and I say “Alexa, let’s play Jeopardy” and out pops the voice of Alex Trebek leading us through the famous Jeopardy into with a series of questions asked by Alexa and answered by us; in the form of a question of course. Now I know why I never applied to be on that show…
If you have a wifi network at home, an Echo DOT is a handy addition to the kitchen even if the only thing you use it for is a multi-timer. The old microwave clock just doesn’t cut it when you need to track several items.