I love trying new technology.
It’s my one weakness (bonus points if you know the reference for that quote).
So, yes, when the Echo Dot went on Black Friday sale for $39, I bought one and had it shipped. I ordered mine in white. It arrived the next day, using our Prime shipping. Please note the DOT is much smaller and cheaper than it’s larger related item, the Amazon Echo. It works the exact same way, but has a much smaller, but still quite loud and clear speaker. I would not use it for party music, but we have a soundbar we can use for that, so I did not want another device with a large speaker.
I plugged it in and had it working in under one minute, I just had to install the app on my phone and hook it up to the internet in our house.
I was curious to see what it would do, and found that you can add skills that are specific to your family.
So here are the uses we have found for it:
We use it as a timer: Alexa, set a timer for 7 minutes
Alarm clock: Alexa, set an alarm for 6 AM tomorrow
You can check the weather: Alexa, what’s the weather in Louisville, Ky. Alexa, what’s the weather in West Virginia (where my daughter lives with her family).
You can set up song lists from your Amazon Music for each family member and for different purposes. For example: Alexa, play Rebecca’s playlist for one hour. (We use this one so she knows how long she should be laying down for a nap and when she can get up because she is at the age where she needs to rest each day, but not every day, so if her music stops, she can get up.) You can also set up Mom’s exercise track for fifteen minutes, etc)
Alexa, Open the Magic Door will make it start a story like a choose your own adventure. My two boys like this one.
Alexa, tell me a bedtime story tells a short, quippy story.
Alexa, play __________(insert song name or artist name) and if you own it in your Amazon music it will play it. By the way, many do not realize that TONS of music is free with Amazon Prime.
You can also ask how to spell things, and other very general questions.
You can order something from Amazon: Alexa, order toilet paper. If you typically order t.p. from amazon, it will know what to do. I am wondering when one of the kids will figure this out and order a computer or something. Good news, it emails you to know an order has been placed, so you can have time to cancel it. 😉
My personal favorite use is to have the Echo Dot read me one of my kindle books aloud, or to play our audio books. I’ve been using this feature while I have been doing freezer cooking from all the Christmas leftovers.
Here’s a great video that shows 50 things you can do with your echo dot:
If you are weighing out the pros and cons of the Amazon Echo versus the Google Home, here’s a great video I found for this:
Did you buy any new technology this year? What have you found that you like to use it for?