As fairly recent empty nesters, we have become accustomed to a certain sense of calm not to mention peace and quiet around our home. No longer interrupted by shouts of “Mom where’s my" … and "Dad have you seen my …” we have found time for music, books, peaceful meditation and self reflection. Of course, we miss those days of yesteryear and frequently look back at those times with fondness. However, truth be told, the transition to serenity has gone swimmingly.
Enter the era of the smart home and voice activated virtual assistants. In a blink of an eye, the silence has been shattered! We find ourselves arguing with Alexa, begging Siri to cooperate and wondering if Bixby is even listening! It’s true. As we embrace the ever evolving world of voice-enabled assistants and smart home technology, we find we are talking both to ourselves and to our devices.
Let us introduce you to our newest family members:
Alexa –Amazon’s voice assistant works directly with numerous smart home devices and can be configured to listen to your voice commands and control a variety of gadgets in your home. We have successfully configured our Alexa to connect through Sonos One, known as the “smart speaker for music lovers.”
Siri – Apple’s intelligent assistant for the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch and the Mac. Siri will answer your questions and work to keep you connected, informed and on time.
Cortana – Perhaps lacking the pizzazz of Siri or Alexa, Cortana is Microsoft’s assistant that syncs with Windows 10 and works across multiple devices.
Google’s Nameless Voice Assistant – Google Assistant – Although the name lacks imagination, Google Assistant is ready, willing and able to help. A simple “Hey Google” opens the door to hands-free help around the home.
Bixby – Samsung Galaxy phone enthusiasts will be familiar with Bixby. The new kid on the block is full of promise and is undoubtedly a work in progress.
Uvo – of course, should we leave the house, we can travel in the company of Uvo, or should we say our Kia Motors “infortainment and telematics service.”
It goes without saying, our empty nest is full once again. As these voice assistants become increasingly popular, it begs the question, “who let the dogs out?” I can assure you, IT WASN’T ME!