One day last week, after a long day of work, I was sitting with my toddler in our dining room trying to convince her to eat dinner. All of the sudden our artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant (Alexa) came on and wished us and our household a Merry Christmas, turned on all our Christmas lights (indoor and outdoor), and played Andy Williams’ “Happy Holidays” on all the connected speakers in our home. It was like movie magic, and I couldn’t help but be charmed by the moment. This, of course, wasn’t actual magic: it was strategic utilization of the smart tools in our home. Now obviously I could’ve done each of those things individually; plugged in the Christmas lights, turned on a song. It is all simple enough. But the devices allow us these tiny life enhancements when used correctly. I’m not advocating for any specific AI assistant but I am enthusiastically promoting the idea of utilizing the tools at your disposal. There are powerful abilities within reach if you already own a smart speaker in your home.
Besides turning on our Christmas lights and playing music on a timer, our household finds a number of uses for our digital assistant. I can start my robot vacuum from anywhere (as long as the Wi-Fi is working), turn on (and more importantly off) any devices plugged in to Wi-Fi plugs, adjust the temperature of our home (for that you also need a smart thermostat), make grocery lists with my voice while I’m cooking, and so on. My two-year-old is currently excited that she can tell it to play “Wheels on the Bus” on demand. If I had an Instant Pot, I would start it from work.
If you received any technology-related gifts this year and you’re wondering what they can do for you, feel free to stop by and talk to me. There are generally tutorials or instructions online and I can help you figure out what you might want to use your new technology for, and send you home with some basic instructions to get your devices working for you.
Additionally, if you have a new smart phone or tablet, we still have our technology one-on-ones every Thursday afternoon by reservation. Give us a call to make an appointment.
Happy New Year!