Introducing our newest family member!

Oh, her?  Yeah, we got a new dog this year.  Her name is Zoe.  Cute, right? I like her.

However, what I really wanted to talk about is Alexa.  We just got her this week, and she does not poop on the carpet. At least not yet. But hey, you never know. The Singularity may be here before we know it.

So in honor of Prime Day tomorrow, the product I am talking about is the Amazon Echo. I have tried to describe it to people, only to get a quizzical look, so I figured I would make a really cool video with lasers and explosions and dramatic music.  But then I figured that might be overkill, seeing as it’s really just a speaker that turns my lights on and off.

Anyway, I present A Demonstration of a Speaker that Turns Our Lights On and Off, with Special Guest Star Zoe:


Some notes for the nerdy:

  1. The lights are Philips Hue WiFi-enabled LED lights.  Using an app on your phone or tablet, they change color and stuff.
  2. Alexa can’t directly change the light color (yet), but using a nifty service called IFTTT she can indirectly change the color by changing songs.
  3. My dog loves Coldplay.
  4. It probably doesn’t show in the video because of my terribly awkward voice, but you can speak very naturally to her and she’ll pick up what you’re saying; more so than Siri or Google Now, at this point.  You don’t actually have to scream at her and enunciate, although you can if you want and she won’t judge.