Echo Show adds visuals to connect us

New Echo Show:  the latest tech for daily use

Technology aims to make our lives better: more efficient, with less problems. Not necessarily less complication. Cue the arrival of Amazon’s latest Echo SHOW, featuring touchscreen, camera, and hands-free calling. It is set to change lifestyles, as well as our definition of “needs.”

The Show’s screen is handy for recipes and amazon reorders. I like that it lights when I enter the room, showing appointments and weather.

I don’t know that I love it yet, but it helps to see where I am in my morning news briefing, with images and a pause button.

Variety reported news media is customizing video content for flash briefings.

I have a few “robots” in my house, such as a Roomba vacuum cleaner, Amazon Echo and Echo Dot. With smart devices like my Amazon and Apple TV boxes, my car, watch and phone, I am becoming more dependent on voice-control. (If only this worked for family members.)

I like the potential, as I’m eager for a free assistant to delegate some tasks too, even if they are informational. A secretary would require breaks.

The basics hold: I can’t imagine writing a grocery list anymore. Since I never could train children or adults to record their demands, the on-the-fly feature of calling out needs suits our lifestyle.

Often my progeny will have secretly added “needs,” which surface when I’m out shopping. It’s a strategy that often works for them.

My favorite skill is using Echoes as intercoms! Simply say “call inside” and all devices on the same account, including my cell, will ring and can be answered with two words.

That means my kids can verbally summon my cell, to call me when I am out… like at the food store. See where I am going with this?

Sometimes “Alexa,” has a mind of her own. She interrupts conversations and television with weird questions, thinking she heard an instruction. I may never be lonely…or truly alone.

CNBC predicts what took over your home could take over your social network.

The “drop-in” feature allows others to appear on your device, in 2-way video! Frankly, I am not always in the mood for a visual greeting, so I probably will limit my drop-ins to voice only. Bad hair days aren’t the only concern.

Regarding privacy, the new Show has a mute button for microphone and camera. It’s that or throwing a towel over it, like a parrot’s cage. With kitchen, bedroom and studio Echoes, I can play music, bark out alarm requests, and… be interrupted by the eavesdropping machine.

My office, though blissfully safe from Echo distractions, leaves me wishing I could ask a daughter to bring me some water on her way upstairs. Back to analog laziness.

Technology: a tool and a crutch. It will be curious to watch consumer relationships evolve with this new household hub. Until then, I’ll be getting to know mine.

Let’s see if Amazon’s Echo Show becomes a mass must-have.


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