Today you can expect to find a smart speaker in just about every home. They are the first step to a smart home. And the easiest to install. I remember when I got mine, it just took me a few minutes to set up. Thankfully my Cox internet speeds could already support the device.
Because the smart speakers these days have minimalist styling, we tend to forget just how impressive they are. From a purely technological perspective, they might be one of the most high-tech gadgets in the house. We use them to create shopping lists and place orders and of course manage other smart devices. But there is so much more they can offer.
7 Smart Speaker Features You Should Know
- Follow-up Mode
- Request a Ride-Share
- History Lessons
- Morning Rituals
- Security Protocols
Did you know your smart speaker can entertain you if you’re bored? Yes, it can! So the next time you’re at home and feel like stimulating your brain, play a game. Most smart speakers have a multitude of pre-installed games. Of course, they aren’t like your PC or console games. Not yet, anyway.
But you can enjoy a nice game of trivia. It’s a great way to be entertained and test your knowledge. So you can use your smart speakers to learn some new things. Or, if you feel too lazy to think about things, then you can keep it simple. Other games like bingo are also on the (virtual) table.
Did you know that you can attempt long conversations with your smart speakers? After last year’s controversy surrounding smart speaker conversations, you might not be inclined to try. But you should know that there have been tremendous updates since. And smart speakers are getting much better at holding long conversations.
Don’t worry, you are far less likely to get controversial responses now than you were last year. After the reported incidents of Alexa implying that user should commit crimes and murders. Amazon took a serious look at ways to improve responses and AI understanding.
7. Follow-Up Mode
In keeping with the theme of holding conversations, did you know of the follow-up mode? Smart speakers today are programmed with the follow-up mode feature. What it does is allows you to communicate with your smart speaker in one continuous flow. Instead of every query being a separate command.
That makes the flow of your communication with the smart speaker more organic. It makes it feel like your AI personal assistant is more than just a machine. Using the follow-up mode, you can get detailed information from your smart speaker quickly.
4. Request a Ride-Share
Things can get crazy in the mornings when you’re trying to get ready, make breakfast and feed the cat. In all this chaos, ordering an Uber doesn’t have to be on your list of things to do. It can be taken care of by your personal assistant. You can ask your smart speaker to call you any ride-share that you want to use.
If you use ride-share daily, then there is another thing you can do. Set a daily reminder on your smart speaker to remind you to order your ride. Just so you don’t forget. And then give it the command to order one when you want.
5. History Lessons
Did you know that your smart speakers can give you history lessons? They can tell you “this day in history…” facts. And yes, this is not a groundbreaking feature. But that doesn’t make it any less useful. A daily piece of trivia like this can do wonders at work.
Not only can it give you things to discuss by the water cooler. But it is also great for increasing your general knowledge. A new piece of daily trivia can go a long way in impressing your colleagues and bosses.
6. Morning Rituals
Most people like to start the day with a specific routine. Listening to music, or news is one of the most common. Followed by catching up on emails. And your smart speakers can do it all. You can set a routine protocol. What that does is allows you to execute multiple commands with one voice input.
So you could so “Good morning Alexa” and it would start reading you the news, followed by your emails. And then perhaps it could put on your favorite morning music and start the coffee maker. It makes getting ready for the day that much more hands-free.
7. Security Protocols
Did you know that your smart speakers can scare away intruders? If you’re out of the house and someone breaks in, your smart speaker will send you a notification. But it can also try to trick intruders into thinking that you’re still at home.
How does it manage this? By switching on lights around the house to make it look like someone is home. That might be enough to scare the intruder away.
These 7 features can let you get more from your smart speakers. It took me a while to figure out some of the features of my smart speaker as well. Basic things like integrating it with my Cox packages were easy. But I am sure there are still a few more that I don’t know of yet either. These smart speakers continue to amaze me with their capabilities.