How many fart-noise generators does one smart home device have to have?
Because I’m an American patriot, I celebrated Amazon Prime Day and bought a discounted ($35 instead of $50!) Amazon Dot. The Dot is the smaller, cheaper version of the Echo. I have heard good things about the Echo, and I was excited to try it out the smart-speaker life.
I start to set it up, eagerly looking for cool “skills” (Alexa lingo for “apps,” basically) to add to it. Obviously, add the BuzzFeed News flash briefing (start your morning with it!). But then…I’m looking at this list, and it’s like last call at Club Penguin in here.
The “skills” interface seems to offer no differentiation between an official or essential skill vs. some random gimmick a teenager probably made. It appears it’s quite easy to make your own “skill,” which means there are a lot of super amateur ones, or ones that seems tailored for one person.
I imagined my new sleek and efficient life where I’m chatting happily to Alexa, telling her to fire up my Juicero, put Tide pods on my shopping list, and add dinner dates to my calendar.
That’s not exactly how things went…
I Pooped. You tell it when you pooped most recently, and it encourages you. I told it I pooped today, and it said “good job!” I’ll admit: I LOL’d.
A skill that just tells you how many chicken nuggets to order. I tried asking. It said…”seven.” Fair enough.
The official Dunkirk movie skill. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure game based on the movie. TBH it’s actually pretty cool? But also…unnecessary.