Friday, January 16, 2015

Bots Arrive

On Monday I received an Amazon Echo.  I am impressed.  "Alexa" is the keyword that gets the Echo's attention and it works near flawlessly.  You can barge-in, get Alexa's attention,  any time, even when the Echo is playing music.  The speech recognition works well in our large kitchen, even with  water running!  It is limited in its range of tasks at this time, but they are sufficient to make it worthwhile.  The music quality is fine, especially for an aging tin ear.  Although Siri does much better in search, I am really impressed by the Echo's speech recognition which is better than Siri's due in part, I am sure, to the 7 microphones.  I also am interested to see how Amazon uses the echo app in conjunction with the Echo device.  Currently the app logs your interactions with the Echo. Also  folks have hacked the API!  If you come across it in a friend's house, Alexa deserves a talking to!


My experience with Alexa has me thinking more about home bots.  Not all robots need to be mobile and my suspicion is that Alexa like entities will become more common in our homes earlier than Rosie like entities. It seems to be a natural transition to go from our smart phone based, social media and search engine interactions to an ambient bot that provides the same functionality by saying "Alexa."

I am still struggling with my copter but I did get software updates into it and learned a bunch about the arduino.  May have to set for a while as I crank up my iBeacon and other Bluetooth low energy devices. More on that in a future post.  Later!

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