We don’t know when it happened, but suddenly the world is beginning to feel a lot like Star Trek.
First came the internet, then smartphones with the internet, then sat nav, now smartphones with internet and sat nav. TV screens are now 3D, and a box the size of a 1990’s mobile phone can project sound around your whole room. You don’t even need a smartphone anymore; you can do everything from your smartwatch.
We’ve all got used to that. It’s normal. Not futuristic at all. Then along comes Amazon with their Echo and now homes across the world have a very helpful personal assistant. We have computerised our homes. She can turn on your lights when you ask, brew you a pot of coffee after a hard day, order your shopping, tell you who has called you; she can even sort out the hoovering too.
Who needs a partner, when you have Alexa? She’s a singleton’s dream!
Things have stepped up this week with Amazon announcing a new deal they have with BMW. From 2018 new BMW and Mini models will have Amazon’s Alexa on board.
Think about it. How many times have you yelled at an imaginary person while driving along the M25? Or remembered something important you need to pick up from Waitrose, only to forget it again when you get home? With Alexa, you no longer have to worry.
Adding Alexa means your car can now be part of your digital lifestyle. One you probably didn’t even realise you had. Everything that is available to you on your Amazon Echo at home will now be at your fingertips while you are behind the wheel.
You can check weather, play music, order online without taking your hands off the wheel. A built-in SIM is installed in your car; you don’t even need a smartphone. You also no longer need to tap furiously at a screen, which will please many people. Now you can just yell your orders, and Alexa will politely respond with everything you could ever need. You don’t even have to say thank you, in fact, if you do, you’ll only confuse her.
It all sounds rather exciting, doesn’t it? Well, don’t get too excited. As with all new tech, we jump at the chance to get our teeth into it and then after the initial excitement, reality proves there are some things we don’t actually need. For example, at home Alexa can switch on the lights if you ask her. The only problem is that if you dare to turn on your own lights, via the switch, she throws a tantrum and you have to reset her. Don’t take her for granted! This becomes highly annoying because you also have to remember what voice command you gave her for each room.
We installed Alexa. Stood by the wall switch, it took us three attempts to get her to switch the lights on. Making the efficiency of Alexa, a little lacking. Of course, all new tech takes a little bedding in.
With BMW cars utilising voice recognition technology, it’s only a matter of time before we see this applied in the motorcycle industry. Skully has already pushed the process forward with their smart helmet. Although they have had a few issues getting it to market, we’ll be watching their progress with interest.
In the meantime, we off to train Alexa to make coffee and order new bits for the bike.
Source: Amazon & BMW