Some thoughts on the Amazon Echo Spot

My son needed an alarm clock and he was itching to get the Amazon Echo Spot. So Santa got him one for Xmas.

He loves it. He already connected it to a Philips Hue Light for his bedside lamp and with a few vocal commands he plays tunes, turns on and off the lamp and sets his morning alarm.

Pretty sweet.

So based on his glowing recommendation I got one for the master bedroom. Lauren looked at the little round glowing device with some skepticism but said okay let’s give this a try.

The Echo Spot works as advertised. Voice recognition is great. And it is a mighty fine alarm clock.

But it’s not great for a shared bedroom or with multiple people in the household.

For example the other night I got to bed super late and Lauren was already fast asleep. The only way to set the alarm is by voice. You can’t set the alarm with the Alexa iOS app which is surprising. So I ended up breaking my personal rule and brought my iPhone to the bedroom to set the alarm.

I was also going to get a Philips Hue light for our bedside lamps. I would love to tell my lamp to turn and off by voice. But Lauren would rather use the switch on the wall. The only way this works is if everyone uses the light the same way. And I’m already hard enough to live with so I passed on the Hue lights.

Our master bedroom is down the hall from James bedroom. But I’ve noticed that when I talk to our Echo, it will frequently wake his device as well. Other times I’ve inadvertently triggered our master bedroom Echo during a conversation with Lauren. It’s a little jarring to have the robot butt in.

Another incident happened this morning. I walked James to the bus stop. Afterward I went back into the house and upstairs to grab a few things. His bedside lamp was still on (we are so the same). I tried issuing a bunch of verbal commands to turn off his light. But it turns out I don’t know how he labeled his lamp so I couldn’t do it. I ended up manually switching it off which isn’t an ideal solution since he won’t be able to turn it on via voice now.

I’m excited about smart devices being voice enabled. But right now they just aren’t there for our household.