It’s usually Alexa and a couple of plugs. That’s how everyone starts. Everyone says that that’s all they need. Everyone thinks that they can stop any time they want.
It sucks you in.
“Alexa. Bark like a dog”
“Alexa. Do a fart”
“Alexa. Tell me a joke”
We’ve all been there. The Dot in the corner. Not good enough for music, not really good for anything apart from the novelty value and the fact that you were drawn in by the hype of having a voice assistant that sounded vaguely human. After a while, the novelty wears off though. At this point, the gateway drug that cost you a handful of tenners will take you in one of two directions.
A dusty circular ornament. Its blue ring destined to remain unlit for eternity, or at least until you realise you can get a couple of those tenners back by flogging it on Facebook Marketplace to the next gullible fool.
A slippery, slippery slope. This is the common path. You refuse to give up. You cling on to the tiniest hope that you can make this do something more than entertain guests (for a minute or two) and you just have a quick look on Amazon.
Realising that you can buy a plug thing and turn a lamp on with your voice, you dip into your hard earned cash. Another few tenners in Jeff Bezos’s pocket won’t hurt. Your plug arrives. Once a day you get to say “Alexa. Lounge lamp on”. Once a day you get to say “Alexa. Lounge lamp off”. It still leaves you feeling empty inside.
First, you move it to something you can order Alexa to turn on an off more often. Maybe the kettle? But you still have to go and fill the thing up to make a cup of tea. The TV? Back to the once or twice a day problem.
So, the kids need new shoes. Their growing feet will squeeze into the ones they have for another month, surely? Just drop another twenty notes or so on Amazon and get another plug. Now you can control TWO devices. You add in another lamp and create a group. “Alexa. Lounge on” switches TWO lamps on. Friends now fall into two groups. Those that are a little bit envious and admire you for becoming an early adopter on the innovation adoption bell curve. The other group are the ones that frown when you try to explain how necessary this is. These are the ones you stop calling, defriend them on Facebook, take a bit longer to answer their texts.
No going back now. You are well and truly hooked.