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Is the Echo a blip?

Interesting article about smart speakers:


I agree with a lot of this. My iPhone is always in my pocket so it is always close at hand. I know other people want get rid of their phone as soon as they get home. In my family, that's my wife; although that is her work device. The other 3 of us keep the phone at hand.

Unlike others, Siri works well for me. Setting timers, reminders, shopping list items, making calls, etc. It doesn't matter to me that Alexa is better at answering random bar-trivia type questions.

The article also makes an interesting prediction: that stationary smart speakers are going to fall to more widespread wearables. I don't (yet) have an Apple Watch but it would support all the things I do with Siri now. How many Echo devices would I have to have around the house to get the same coverage as the Watch provides?

The other thing is privacy. Apple has a strong position on protecting user privacy whereas Amazon and Google have an urgent financial motivation to collect and process our personal information. The devices from Amazon and Google are cheap, in part, because of their desire for your data!




  • lsbrodskylsbrodsky New Bern, NCMember

    Well I dissent. I doubt that I am the main target demographic, but I will not wear a watch that requires a battery or charging. I will not buy an Apple product. I am irked by their premium mentality and strategy to obsolete the product long before necessary so that users must buy up. I also only use a smartphone when I am in the car or away from home; it is not and will never be my primary electronic communication device.
    I tried a Google Home but it was cleat that Amazon was light years ahead and making every effort to stay that way. I have 5 Echo devices, one expensive for music playback, and the others for voice control, timing, weather, etc. I am controlling lights, fans, HVAC, wifi, cooking and will soon employ the skill with my landline phone. As long as Amazon and partners keep finding new skills to deploy this is a growing and fun use of technology.

  • @lsbrodsky, what about the privacy issue? Does it not concern you that Amazon is collecting detailed information about your every interaction with the Echo? As I said, they have a profit motive to make use of that treasure trove. That makes me very uncomfortable.

  • lsbrodskylsbrodsky New Bern, NCMember

    IMHO privacy is a joke. Do not do anything that you would not want the world to know about. I would be concerned about identity theft, if I thought having Echos could increase that risk.

  • EFTCEFTC CanadaMember

    Privacy is a joke in my opinion. The only time you can have privacy is before you are born, or after you have passed away.

    There are cameras in hospitals, down the street, shopping malls, in buses and taxis. Don't forget there are also cell phone cameras and dashcams. Good luck hiding.

  • That seems to me to be a defeatist attitude. Why should we pay to bring devices into our houses if we know that a key objective is exploiting our personal information? We may not be able to do much about public surveillance but I don't see why we should willingly choose to bring it indoors!

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