We all have heard and read stories of how Apple Watch has saved people’s life due to it’s features like ECG etc. This anecdote is one such instance in my life as well. (May be not that intense, but no less either)
It has now been over an year, that I own Amazon’s flagship product. No I am not talking about Kindle, rather Echo Dot. So I’ll be honest, my spouse and my family were in total disagreement of this expenditure. I believe most of Indian families are reluctant to spend on tech mainly because they don’t see much value in it. One of the key reasons of the same is they never explore the full potential an app or a device has to offer.
So Echo series comes in multiple models. The only variation in all the devices is in terms of aesthetics but the underlying product powering it- Alexa, remains the same. This is not applicable for recently launched Echo Show which also has an 8″ HD screen.
If you plan to buy any of these devices after reading this post, please wait for Amazon prime day sale. Usually echo devices cost 4k on Amazon but during the sale period, rates are slashed to 2.4k and they often pop in an Alexa controlled light bulb. I purchased it during one such sale and was so excited to use it. Ever since, it has become an extension of my daily routine management. Coming to my top use case for Amazon Echo a.k.a Alexa:
Searching for my missing wife
I agree that this sounds some real CID shit, but bear with me. So, one fine day I am working at my office, in a meeting where I get back to back calls from my mother and in-laws. As soon as the meeting got over I called my mother just to realize that my wife’s phone has been turned off for a while now. Similar were the concerns of my parent in laws.
Now this is a time when I have just moved to a new city a week ago. I don’t know any one, cannot leave office to go back home and check (office is 2 hours away from my home). So as an impulse, I start calling security guard, carpenter (who did some work while moving in), car washing guy but none of that comes in handy.
I am sitting with my head dropped in the office when quickly I realize that Echo might be of some help. So I open the Alexa app and find this amazing feature called “Announcement”.
Announcement allows you to announce a message (you have to type it in) through Echo. So I gave that feature a couple of shots but was not successful. (At this point, I don’t even know if the message is going through.)
Placed right next to announcement button was “Drop In”
Drop in allows you to.. drop in.. Duh! That’s exactly what it does, you just have to press that button and you can use Echo as a speaker and microphone both to establish a two way communication. As soon as I connected, I started shouting my wife’s name and after a couple of tries, I get a bleak voice from the other side asking who is it?
Turns out that because of all moving in and settling down stuff, she was tired and had slept. At the same time her phone’s battery also died. As soon as we could connect, I was finally able to pull myself together. She turned on the phone and finally called everyone back.
Her experience was equally fun when she received a call through Echo. Never had either of us interacted with the device in such a way and she was shocked to hear all this happening while half asleep.
This feature is now used by both of us often for:
- Waking the other person up while one is away.
- Simply for communicating while being in different rooms.
- Random sessions of annoying each other (mainly used by me)
Now for all those parents, who aren’t able to justify the value of technology in their lives, I think this incident recouped the entire value of Alexa’s lifetime for me given the stressful situation it got me out from.
Another blog post to highlight other use cases of Alexa to follow. Until Next Time..