Given my passion for both writing and acting, I'm aware that every good movie has five essential elements – the characters, the setting, the conflict, the climax and finally the resolution. I recently got my hands on an Amazon Echo and it's made my life nothing short of a sci-fi drama film.
The Character: A technologically-challenged guy like me is an exception in this Age of Connectivity. Blame my generation – I grew up in the 90s when the most advanced gadget out there was the Walkman.
The Setting: Here I am now – introduced to the Amazon Echo. It's like my grandmother using a smartphone. Actually not really, because even she's better with technology than me. Every time I get a new gadget, my hands tremble. Technology has always made me nervous, really nervous.
© MensXP/Rhea Dabas
The Conflict: Being an actor, my days can be very hectic. Add to that my complete lack of organisational skills, and you have absolute madness, Monday to Friday. Trying to get the best of working hard and playing harder, balancing between multiple gadgets – life is really not that simple.
The Climax: Alexa, Amazon's virtual assistant, comes in as a saviour with timely reminders, alarms and calendars. But what intrigued me the most, were the insanely cool Smart Home features that she supports. Through the Alexa app, I simply had to enable the specific skills for my smart devices, pair it with my Echo and just let Alexa take control (Frightening? Not really. Insanely cool? Most definitely).
The Resolution: Setting up my Smart Home with Alexa was as simple as – 'lights, camera, action.'
Lights: If vegetating on weekends is your favourite hobby, Amazon Echo might just spoil you silly. If you have smart lights installed in your house, you could actually control them hands-free. Besides turning them on or off, you can even change the brightness or alter the colours too. It's time to replace those dingy, old LED tubes and go “Alexa, reduce brightness to 60%.”
Camera: For someone like me, who's used to the old-school life, this was futuristic. If you have the Echo Spot, you could even see live feeds from any Alexa-compatible camera. If not, Alexa on your phone also works
Action: Imagine not having to wake up one hour in advance to switch on the damn geyser during cold January mornings just with some Smart Plugs. You can use the Oakter Smart Plug to switch on the geyser and with Smart Voice Remotes such as OakRemote or Broadlink, you don't even need to fumble around to control your AC or the TV. Ask, and Alexa shall deliver. The only problem here, though, is that Alexa is going to have a tough time deciding who to listen to – me or my mother.
Alexa works on voice requests, and she is definitely a good listener. I say that because if with the TV blaring and the cacophony of the kitchen, she could hear me through all that chaos, she can definitely be a great host.
© MensXP/Rhea Dabas
As much as the little kid in me loves the feel of a new gadget, the adult in me is seeing himself becoming more efficient and organised with work and play. I suppose you could say that I lived happily ever after.