Have you dreamed of a sci-fi future where all you need do is utter your command inside your home and appliances will begin to whir? With voice-activated personal assistants from Amazon and Google, and one from Apple on the way, we may be closer than you think. These smart devices can do more than just turn on your lights. Here’s a list of 9 things you didn’t know your artificially intelligent device could do.
Choose Your Own Adventure
The Magic Door is an interactive story on Amazon’s Alexa that asks you to choose your path as you navigate your way through a magical forest, ancient temple, or a secret garden. For more mature audiences there’s Earplay, the first ever voice-activated interactive audio stories that play like an old radio show where you are one of the characters.
HUNT THE YETI
A throwback to the early computer game, Hunt the Wumpus, this interactive game asks you to deduce the location of the yeti from environmental clues and sound effects.
EXPLORE THE UNIVERSE
Through the latest rover updates and dispatches from the Mars mission team members, you can be in space too. Ask your voice-activated assistant all your curious questions about Mars and get answers directly from NASA.
TAKING CARE OF YOU
From working out to blissing out, your voice-activated personal assistant is capable of guiding you through a host of different body/mind activities. Stop, Breathe & Think offers daily bite-sized meditations. And, for your body, the 7 Minute Workout.
MANAGE YOUR SMARTPHONE
If you’re starting to feel like your phone is running your life, use your voice-activated assistant to put it in it’s place. Or at least find it without using another phone to do so!
ORCHESTRATE YOUR ENVIRONMENT
The different assistant products all function well to to manage your home’s smart devices, especially with systems like Nest. Turning on your playlist, beginning your morning routine, and checking that the garage door is shut are some of the myriad lesser known functions you can explore.
STREAM YOUR MUSIC
Listen to your favorites without having to scroll through playlists on your handheld device. Not only can you voice command Google Home to play any of your music apps, it also has touch settings that are easier than a phone and faster than your voice.
Lists are great when you can remember what needs to go on them. This feature solves that problem by eliminating the need for pen and paper. Just tell Alexa to add it to the list when you first notice you’re out of milk.
BE EVEN LAZIER
Remember when you had to walk over to the box and touch the TV set to change the channel? Now all you have to do is say “Hey Google” to turn it on or stream video right to your screen.
Jenny Kepler, MA, LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist and writer who has been helping families navigate parenthood for over 10 years. Her office is in downtown Portland, OR where she does in person therapy with adults, couples and families. She also offers parent coaching over the phone for people who can’t see her in Portland. http://jennykepler.com/