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Community Manager
Posts: 4,776
Registered: ‎18-04-2018

Home Assistants

Hi everyone, 

 

Digital home assistants have become more and more sophisticated over the past few years, and an increasing number of companies are developping and releasing their own version of the smart devices. They can perform a wide range of tasks, help you with your day to day organisation and the overall control of your house. Their potential keeps on growing!

 

Do any of you guys use home assistants, such as Google Home or Alexa?

 

If you do use one, I'd love to know what benefits you find to these digital home assistants, and how you prefer to use them - whether it's through speakers, using the mini version of the device, or through your TV. What kind of things do you use them for, i.e. playing music, setting timers, checking the weather, turning your TV on, etc? What do you think the best, and most fun functions are? 

 

If you do not use one, is there any particular reason behind this choice? Do you have any reservations, or feedback on what home assistants can or cannot do that is stopping you from getting one?

 

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this! smiley

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Level 23: Casual Specs
Posts: 2,991
Registered: ‎03-08-2018

Re: Home Assistants

Hi @EmilieT 

 

I have not got an artificial intelligent gaget/assistant

I think they could be very useful especially for those people living alone.

I don't know whether they can make an emergency call but this would

be very good.  My neighbour fell down and broke her shoulder so this

would have helped her get assistance if she could have communicated with

something like that.

I use my phone for day to day reminders.

I would like them to get more sophisticated before getting one.

There have been some worries about being "listened" to ~ so this would be a worry.

 

 

 



Community Manager
Posts: 4,776
Registered: ‎18-04-2018

Re: Home Assistants

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, @TallTrees smiley

 

I'm so sorry to hear about your neighbour's fall worried I don't own a home assistant myself at the moment so I'm not sure if they can be used to make emergency calls, but that'd definitely be a great use for them. 

 

You say you would like them to get more sophisticated before getting one, I was wondering if there were any specific things you had in mind on that? What kind of functionality or advancement would be a deciding factor for you?

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Level 23: Casual Specs
Posts: 2,991
Registered: ‎03-08-2018

Re: Home Assistants

Hi @EmilieT 

 

Thanks for your reply ~ 

If they could do an "all round job"  switch things on/off  ~ this is good for all persons with difficulties.

Ring an emergency number ~ 

if this was linked to a fire alarm system this could save a major fire and save lives

linked to an ambulance service in emergency

or call a nominated person for help

Entertainment I know it does this.

 

 



Level 41: Prodigal
Posts: 3,625
Registered: ‎26-03-2014

Re: Home Assistants

We have two Echo dots.
Most frequent use is to set timers while cooking (SO handy).
Also used for music, tell the time, send messages to other Alexa devices (which freaks out the mother in law as hers is linked to our account).
Most frustrating is that it doesn't seem to work as well as the google assistant when searching for things.
At Christmas had the lights plugged into a smart plug that was Alexa compatible so could turn the lights on and off without crawling under the tree...
Now using the LG V30.

Previously: LG G4, Sony Z1, HTC Sensation XE, Samsung Omnia i900
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Community Manager
Posts: 4,776
Registered: ‎18-04-2018

Re: Home Assistants

@TallTrees 

 

Very interesting, thanks for letting me know what you'd like these kind of devices to do for you slight smile I think they've been doing more and more, and they can certainly keep on getting better and more useful. I hadn't thought of them as much in terms of accessibility and how they can be of use for those more vulnerable or in emergency situations, but it's a great point!

 

@gmarkj 

 

The cooking timer must be so handy indeed, I can't count how often I've had my hands dirty from chopping things and needed to set a timer right away but had to first wash up. sweat smile I love as well the Christmas lights use, so practical!

 

When you say it doesn't work as well with the Google assistant to search for things, is it specific things or more overall whenever you ask for it to find some information for you? Anything else that you can'd like it to do better/additionally?

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Level 41: Prodigal
Posts: 3,625
Registered: ‎26-03-2014

Re: Home Assistants

Sometimes I ask Alexa to search for something and it replies with something along the lines of "sorry, i don't understand".
When I do the same search using google I get matches of some kind.
Not sure about anything else though.
Now using the LG V30.

Previously: LG G4, Sony Z1, HTC Sensation XE, Samsung Omnia i900
Try the Tech Galaxy Note 4
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Posts: 70,288
Topics: 674
Registered: ‎14-01-2013

Re: Home Assistants

I watched a TV programme called 'Hard to Please OAP's'

A few 'celebrity' folk taking part in this and they are dealing with technology.

 

One of them asked Alexa for a recipe for Spanish Omelette. Alexa kept replying with a recipe for Mexican Chicken. I laughed at the frustration and anger of  June Brown and Amanda Barrie trying to get this recipe. joy

*The Game Is On*


Community Manager
Posts: 4,776
Registered: ‎18-04-2018

Re: Home Assistants

[ Edited ]

@gmarkj So it's the voice recognition that somehow doesn't work well for searches? But it works well for any other actions you're asking the Echo to perform? That's quite strange, but interesting to think about ... nerd

 

@Cleoriff I love that joy

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Level 41: Prodigal
Posts: 3,625
Registered: ‎26-03-2014

Re: Home Assistants

Not sure it is the voice recognition @EmilieT as it works fine when asking for other things. Think it is just the search capability of Alexa.
There are skills that you can add in one way or another that can make up for this, but as one is rather complicated I haven't gone down that road yet...
Now using the LG V30.

Previously: LG G4, Sony Z1, HTC Sensation XE, Samsung Omnia i900
Try the Tech Galaxy Note 4
Try the Tech Lumia 640LTE and Microsoft Band