Educating Alexa or some less obvious ways to make your virtual assistant more convenient
Far be it from us to disapprove of jokes about the pratfalls and blunders voice assistants in general, and Alexa in particular can – and do – make at times. We are not averse to laughing at one – or telling one – once in a while ourselves. Firstly, they are funny, and secondly, they are often true.
But let us face it, sometimes these blunders are, at the end of the day, our own fault. Our gadgets are capable of a lot of things, but they still can only do so much to protect themselves (and their owners)- and it applies to Alexa hardware in full measure, too. And it’s very doubtful that they will ever have what it takes to protect you from every mistake and every danger on their own. You’ll have to do your part as well.
And here are a couple of things to do – and not do – to this end. With these not immediately apparent tips and tricks you can make your friendly speaker safer, more convenient and overall more useful.
Firstly, don’t place it anywhere close to the bathroom. (And, just in case, don’t be too surprised by this advice: if you never thought of this yourself, you have no idea how many people seem to find it actually rather handy). Microbes, which always accumulate near the toilet area, are dangerous not only for people and animals, you know. And that’s saying nothing about the splashes of water from your bathtub. Or, if you absolutely have to listen to your favourite music or books while taking a bath, at least stick it – as tightly as you can – on a wall, as far from the tub as you can.
Secondly, the same goes for the kitchen sink. In addition to the water danger, if you’ll let your Echo work near there, you won’t hear much due to the tap noise. And, while we’re at it, cookers, toasters and the like are not the best company for a speaker (even a turned-off one) either.Trust us, melted cheese or heated oil won’t do your Alexa any good.
Thirdly, funny as it might be, but leaving it near the windows will be quite a reckless idea, too. Otherwise, unless you live on a higher floor of a skyscraper (and even that is not exactly secure, for you never know), anyone passing by will be able to take over control of your assistant. Meaning, your other smart gadgets will also be similarly vulnerable.
And lastly – though it is rather a nuisance than a danger we’re talking about here – try and put some distance between Alexa speakers and TV sets as well. At least until they come up with a model that will be smart enough to tell your voice from that of the advertisement actors – who, by obvious reasons, mention Alexa a lot and often speak out various commands your current Echo model will be only too obedient to carry out whether you like it or not. By the way, it is also fraught with something worse than just an annoyance: for example, if you are discussing something you’re not prepared to disclose to all and sundry, then a sudden switching on of such a device would be counter-productive, to say the least.
But don’t despair – there are still plenty of safe and still entirely reachable spaces for your Alexa to go. From your night stand to some far corners of your living room, to a cupboard or china closed shelf – the choice is wide enough. Putting in a little effort and giving it a little thought can still go a long way. Even in our modern and advanced times. Smart and sophisticated though our current technology may be, there is still something to be said for the old-school human brains, too.
- Alexa – Amazon
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7 Alexa Features You Need To Turn OFF Right NOW [Video]
Video uploaded by Steve DOES on December 4, 2020