SoCal Rob

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I agree that could be a solution, but in general Alexa would not work for me for placing orders. I tend to review multiple options before making a decision, and the visualization is important to me. I want to read reviews before I buy. Alexa would be waaaay to cumbersome.

Aternatively, I would pay $5 a month additional on my Prime for the Alexa convenience that I currently use - Home Automation and Prime Music.
I was thinking for reorders.
“Alexa, I need more cat food!”
“Do you want the same thing you ordered last time?”
“Yes.”
“Your order has been placed. You can set this up for automatic reorder on a set schedule for a slightly lower price. Do you want me to do that now?”
“No, our schedule isn’t predictable enough.”

 

Dark-Fx

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Wow... To be honest, I'm struggling to believe and understand how the division lost $10B due to Alexa. The article says they essentially sell the hardware at cost.

"best-selling items on Amazon, most of the devices sold at cost."

So that means they are spending $10B a year on hardware development, software and related infrastructure?

They have certainly backed themselves into a corner. There are a ton of 3rd party Alexa integrations that people use daily. I use Alexa with my Universal Devices home automation system. Is it handy? Yes. Do I need it? No.
It's the sheer amount of employees they had to support the project. A stupidly enormous amount. They are letting go of ten thousand of them. Just for Alexa.
 

SoCal Rob

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To control the microwave?
Yes, a Sharp microwave with Alexa support. Way, WAY easier for older people especially with vision issues.
“Alexa, microwave at 50% for 3 minutes.”
I am tech-friendly with great vision and it’s quicker for me to do that than to think of how her particular microwave works if I want to do anything other than cook at high in 30 second or minute increments.
 

SoCal Rob

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They just don’t need Alexa to spy on you anymore because they will soon have a vacuum roaming around your house 🤔
That sucks! :)
 
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Rivian_Hugh_III

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Yes, a Sharp microwave with Alexa support. Way, WAY easier for older people especially with vision issues.
“Alexa, microwave at 50% for 3 minutes.”
I am tech-friendly with great vision and it’s quicker for me to do that than to think of how her particular microwave works if I want to do anything other than cook at high in 30 second or minute increments.
I was so annoyed when I learned that microwaving at 50% means 50% of the time, not half power. 25% means three quarters of the time you’re standing there and nothing is happening… but heat dissipating I suppose.

Still, what you describe does sound pretty easy. I’m so lazy I either push the 30 second button a bunch of times or pick numbers that are doubles: 22 seconds, 55 seconds. Alexa sounds like a nice add.
 


SoCal Rob

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My guess is they sell the hardware cheap, push everyone to use Alexa, and collect as much data about how people use it. That is what they sell to other companies. Maybe that market wasn’t what they thought it was or… all our data is already out there.

https://www.pcmag.com/news/amazons-alexa-collects-more-of-your-data-than-any-other-smart-assistant

I have personally never used Siri or Alexa or any other voice assistant. I have to talk to annoying humans all day - I don’t want to add annoying conversations with my tech as well :giggle:
But on a positive note, with technology you can have even more annoying conversations with increased efficiency! Wait, that’s not a positive at all. :surprised:
 

SoCal Rob

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I was so annoyed when I learned that microwaving at 50% means 50% of the time, not half power. 25% means three quarters of the time you’re standing there and nothing is happening… but heat dissipating I suppose.

Still, what you describe does sound pretty easy. I’m so lazy I either push the 30 second button a bunch of times or pick numbers that are doubles: 22 seconds, 55 seconds. Alexa sounds like a nice add.
Yeah, I thought someone made a microwave which actually reduced power rather than doing the cooking as a percentage of time but always at 100%.

I kind of wish my microwave had Alexa because it looks fantastic but it’s not especially user-friendly. But it looks fantastic and it spends FAR more time being looked at than it does cooking things so I’m okay with the trade-off.
 

Killer95Stang

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Actually... out of all three, Siri, Google, alexa... I really think alexa works best for me.

- I use it for Music across different platforms.
- 6 year old daughter knows to call me in the garage, by asking alexa to call dadda...
- Dad: daughter, turn off the TV and brush your teeth. Daugther: silence.. Dad: Alexa, turn off TV. Daughter: lowers head and walks to the bathroom to brush teeth.
- Alexa.. "is the garage closed, "yes."
- Alexa.. " where is my F150" parked at blah.. blah.. blah...
- Alexa.. "turn on dining room lights."
- Alexa.. "It's tuesday, play It's raining Tacos"

list goes on and on for me...
 

mindstormsguy

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I was so annoyed when I learned that microwaving at 50% means 50% of the time, not half power. 25% means three quarters of the time you’re standing there and nothing is happening… but heat dissipating I suppose.

Still, what you describe does sound pretty easy. I’m so lazy I either push the 30 second button a bunch of times or pick numbers that are doubles: 22 seconds, 55 seconds. Alexa sounds like a nice add.
Yeah, I thought someone made a microwave which actually reduced power rather than doing the cooking as a percentage of time but always at 100%.

I kind of wish my microwave had Alexa because it looks fantastic but it’s not especially user-friendly. But it looks fantastic and it spends FAR more time being looked at than it does cooking things so I’m okay with the trade-off.
You want an inverter microwave. It used to just be Panasonic that made them, but it looks like other bands do too now. Maybe a patent expired.
 


Count Orlok

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I find it difficult to believe Amazon couldn't monetize "alexa, how far away is Uranus?"
 

VHRivian

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I use Alexa throughout my home to control shades, lights, etc. It's amazing and extremely cheap relative to other smart home solutions.

I agree that it is a huge security issue having Jeff Bezos listening to everything in my home, but I decided I don't care and since everything I do on my phone and computer is already tracked anyway I will give up privacy for convenience.

I had always wondered what the long-term business plan was for this. Once you have the devices you need there isn't really a reason to ever allow Amazon to monetize them ever again. My entire house is voice-controlled and it cost me under $1,000. I assumed at some point I would have to be a Prime member to use the voice features and other integrated skills, but so far it's still 'free' (aside from the obvious data-mining). I hope it stays that way.
 

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For those that like home automation, look into Home Assistant. You can do everything that Alexa, Siri and Google can do but your data stays local - in your control.
 

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Amazon has completely nerfed Prime Music to force people onto Unlimited, but at this point even though I have an Alexa in nearly every room and countless integrations, I am strongly considering dumping the whole thing. The only thing that keeps me for now is the convenience of the shopping, which is why I have been a prime member forever despite hating Bezos.
 

zefram47

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They can be a real help for the visually impaired and the elderly. My mom is an 85-year-old retired English teacher who isn't the greatest with tech. Between an iPad and iPhone she has email, web browsing, apps for various services, and even some games to keep her mind sharp. Alexa gives her a home hub for automating lights plus an easy way to control her thermostat, microwave, and music.

Maybe Amazon needs to make Alexa and add-on service to Prime unless you use Alexa to order at least $50* of products per month per household. Training people to use Alexa to order things to avoid a monthly change seems reasonable to me. Maybe I am oversimplifying?

*or whatever
Add a Raspberry Pi with Homebridge and Siri can take over those duties for devices that don't natively support HomeKit. That's the route I went since I wanted cheap home automation, but didn't have any desire to go with Google or Alexa. iPhone/iPad could respond to requests or add a couple of the HomePod Minis.
 

 
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