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Working from home using Amazon Alexa

tonydiaz profile image Tony Diaz Updated on ・2 min read

Smart speakers are now common in many households. More and more devices are getting built-in virtual assistants like Alexa, Google Home, or Siri.

I currently have three Amazon Echo devices in the house. One is on the desk I use while working from home. I enjoy the convenience of sitting at my desk and asking Alexa to do numerous things without the need to get up.

Amazon echo dot

Here are the ways I use Alexa during the day:

Music:

"Alexa play SiriusXM"

Probably the most popular feature of any smart speaker. Alexa has the ability to play music from all the major streaming apps (Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora). I can pick the specific SiriusXM channel to listen to music throughout the day.

News:

"Alex, tell me what's new"

I get the morning news from NPR. Typically it is the highlights of what is happening in the country and world. You can configure it to get more local news.

Smart devices:

"Alexa set the thermostat to <desired temperature>"

I have an Ecobee smart thermostat at home that allows me to change the temperature without moving away from my desk.

Reminders and Alarms:

"Alexa remind me to call Jen at 3 pm"

Alexa serves as a great assistant notifying me of reminders or alarms to get on a call before a meeting.

Package delivery:

"Alexa, notifications"

When the echo dot has a green light shining on it means there is a notification for me. When packages are delivered Alexa will let me know and I can grab them. This is a really nice feature if you live in an area that may steal a package if it is left out for a while.

Routines

"Alexa, start my day"

I set up a routine on the Alexa app for mornings. I have it programmed to tell me the temperature and weather forecast for the day. It will then tell me an ETA for driving into work (I'm not currently driving due to the pandemic). It will give me the top news stories for the day, provided by NPR. I added some manual actions that will have Alexa tell me to do 100 jumping jacks wait one minute then tell me to do push-ups and squats. After the basic exercise is done it will begin playing SirusXM.

Find misplaced phone:

"Alexa call my phone"

Alexa can call my phone if I have misplaced it. Although I don't use it very often it is helpful when I need to find my phone in the house.

Other possibilities?

I feel like I'm just scratching the surface on the possibilities. I'd like to leverage even more ways to integrate an AI virtual assistant throughout my day to make things even more convenient.

Do you use a virtual assistant while you work? If so what do you use it for?

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Tony Diaz

@tonydiaz

🐊 Florida Gator alum. πŸ“š MBA. πŸ§‘πŸ»β€πŸ’»Engineer. πŸ‘πŸβ“‚οΈ IBMer

Discussion

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Something in looking into doing with my echo, is to write my own skills

 

Cool. I have created two simple skills previously just to better understand how to build them.