Picture yourself driving your car. Just a regular Sunday drive with the fam, on your way to the Apple store or Best Buy or whatever Circuit City wannabe is convenient and affordable. Maybe you’re cruising in your brand new, wifi-connected sedan. Maybe the kids are streaming Elmo in the backseat, bae is tweeting hard in shotgun, and you’ve got Siri barking directions through the stereo. You check a snap, ‘gram a selfie and think to yourself, “Do I have enough technology in my life? Are other people more fun than me? I like Siri but I don’t like this stupid phone she comes with, can’t I just leave her in my kitchen all the time?”
Well stop the car and open your eyes. Get your ass on that internet. The future is now, and it comes with a robotic personal assistant: the Amazon Echo. Use your car’s built-in wifi, baby! That’s why you got it!
Amazon Echo is a smallish cylindrical speaker designed to be your family’s virtual butler. Apple has Siri, Microsoft has Cortana, and now Amazon has Alexa. She’s always listening, just give her a command. Go ahead, try it!
“Alexa, play the Macarena.”
Boom! Just like that, you’re dancing. I like your style too, keep up the good work.
“Alexa, please pass the ketchup.”
Whoa there buddy, not so fast. Alexa’s not your crummy old lazy Susan. Save actually doing stuff for the drones.
“Alexa, is Inspector Gadget considered science-fiction or fantasy?”
See? It’s easy! Amazon has taken the convenience of pressing a button on your phone and removed having to actually press the button or have a phone. Put Siri inside a Bose Wave music system and you’ve got the Echo.
No it’s not actually partnered with Bose, but the sound quality is rumored to be excellent. So are the 7 internal microphones designed to receive your every command, even over the unimaginable dins, ruckuses, and everyday blatherings of you and your family. Yes, these microphones are always at attention, eager to fulfill your requests and perhaps amass usable data for Amazon or the government to exploit. Wake up America!
Calm down America. Take off your tinfoil hats and get real. Nobody cares about your gossip and rigamarole. The government doesn’t want your grandma’s famous margarita recipe (although if it’s anything like Grandma Anderson’s, I wouldn’t blame them). Your Xbox Kinect is already watching you every single day and night of your relentless lives. What more do you have to lose?
“Alexa, does the NSA still monitor all of my phone and internet conversations?”
That’s a ridiculous question, and it has nothing to do with Alexa. How dare you associate your little kitchen helper–your recipe robot, your family friend!–to the nefarious activity of the American government. Get off your high horse and do the dishes.
“Alexa, do we really need another distraction in our lives? Didn’t we already invent Siri? Where does it all end?!”
Come on dude, work with me here. Gimme something I can use.
“Alexa, who am I?”
Whoa that’s deep. No wait, I can do this. Let me think a second, hold on.
Okay. Picture yourself driving your car. Just a regular Sunday drive with the fam, on your way to the Apple store or Best Buy or whatever Radio Shack vulture is convenient and affordable. Maybe you’re connected to your car’s built-in wifi, and maybe you just got a reminder from Alexa. Maybe you’ve synced the app and all its data onto your phone so it can track you around and tell the government that you were late to your appointment. You don’t worry though, because you’re a good person. Your kids learn the alphabet in the backseat, bae tweets fire at celebrities, and you get home in time to ask Alexa the meaning of life. Just another perfect day with your Amazon Echo.