I consider myself a bit of a techy. In that, I simply mean I love gadgets. I’m an early adopter, and I keep a keen eye on tech products and services that push the limits of advancement. Still, if I had to categorize responsibilities, technology would come second to anything involving motherhood. Thankfully, technology allows me to handle both interdependently.
Two of my most regularly used tech appliances are virtual home assistants, Google Home and the Amazon Echo. People have asked me which I like most. My answer: I LOVE THEM BOTH! I honestly do. But that’s not to say that I use them equally; neither do I use them to do the same jobs. Nevertheless, if I had to duke it out and compare the two devices, I’d have a hard time giving either of them up.
Google Home is great for my kids. I use it as my educational tech for them. I use Home to satisfy their kid curiosities. They love asking questions about animals (“How big is a whale?”), weather (“Is it going to rain?”), etc. As it does for adults using it online, Google spits out an answer in no time flat, much to the amusement of two antsy, inquisitive boys.
On the other hand, Alexa, the name for Amazon’s virtual voice assistant, helps Mama with daily grunt work. She’s great with ordering and reordering things when my hands are full with the boys (literally or figuratively). With the power of an Amazon Prime account, I can ask Alexa to order or re-order paper towels, baby wipes, diapers, trash bags, you name it, and it can be there in a couple of hours or a couple of days if it isn’t urgent.
As great as these both are, neither one is perfect. There’s no question that Google Home puts a sparkle in my kids’ eyes every time they ask a question, but the lack of Bluetooth and audio connectivity forces us to use it closer to the bathroom and the kids’ room. The lack of external audio capabilities also means I don’t use it as a music workhorse, which is huge in a DJ’s living space. The party responsibilities go to Alexa, who can connect via audio output and play music for the kids to dance to. Alas, music selection can be a bit of a pain with the Echo, as asking Alexa to play some popular songs oftentimes returns with a message that she doesn’t know or have them in her library. That can be frustrating and more than a bit annoying.
Even with the few drawbacks, I have to say that these are both extremely handy virtual assistants that moms, in particular, should consider. Home and the Echo help me to remember and accomplish so many things that need to happen when I may not have the extra few minutes (or hands) to get them done.
Concerned about privacy aspects of them, but now that i have them. First in-home robots. As a mom, these devices are extremely handy as virtual assistants. I did have initial concerns about privacy when I first purchased the devices, but I’ve done research and taken steps to get a tighter grip on my family’s security so that I can enjoy technology without fear. I recommend that other parents do the same.
That being said, I would TOTALLY recommend these devices to moms, especially Alexa. If you haven’t considered a virtual home assistant, it may be worth your while (and shopping sanity) to check them out.
Do you own a virtual home assistant? What are your thoughts about it? Let me know in the comments below.