A smartwatch lets me satisfy my desire to play with (almost hands-free) voice-activated technology without having to leave an always-listening speaker at home. Trading off one data-hoover for another, I suppose.
I won an Echo at a conference last year. When I finally hooked it up, it was amusing at first. I don't have a smart home so it was mostly asking it questions and using it as a speaker. A year on, the charm has worn off and I mostly just use it as a timer. One giant glorified time.
Alexa is the Mata Hari of our time!
The stories of her erratic behaviour are unnerving, as are the claims of Amazon patents for algorithms that listen for words like "love" and "bought" in order to subsequently serve up targeted advertising (see www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/may/24/amazon-alexa-recorded-conversation). We haven't let her into our house - yet.
With two kids under 3, Google Home is great. I don't always have a free hand to grab my phone to look something up or turn music/radio on or off. As parents who are trying to raise kids who aren't addicted to screens, it also provides a way we can play music for them without needing to pull a screen out of our pockets. Our almost 3 year old is able to get Google to respond to him as well, which can often result in some pretty funny answers. We have a Google Home and two minis around the house, all of them default audio to play on our in-ceiling speakers via Chromecast. We have a bunch of smart home devices (Lights, thermostat, garage door, doorbell) that all work together as well so hands-free adjustment of the temperature or turning on the porch light is easy.
An option for not at all would have been appropriate. I don't have any and don't really feel the need to get any. Actually using my hands works just fine for me for these types of tasks.
I have several friends with them. Since there's no security on the smart speakers, you can leave random timers, alarms, and reminders quickly, conveniently, and annoyingly.
No thanks - there is enough surveillance already. These devices are *always* listening no matter what they say. The only way to wake up is to be listening.
Playing music (any music) has been great. Also just getting into smart plugs which are challenging to set up but great when they are. But BY FAR.....telling Alexa to "add to the list" has been a life-saver in this house. Saving a ton of time with to-do lists, picking up items and no more shaking my head trying to remember what it was that I forgot to write down to do or buy.
Four Echo Dots, a Google Home and a Google mini are scattered around the house. Uses: kitchen timer, radio, checking the time when resetting clocks after a power outage, playing Pandora, controlling a smart plug ("Alexa, turn on the Christmas tree"), checking travel time to work. I've also played with using them as intercoms and once used the Echo to talk to my sister (300 miles away).
We have two Amazon Echo's and 4 Dots in the house. We use them a lot for music and voice activation of lights. The intercom feature works great so we don't have to yell across the house. The kids use them for morning alarms. I feel like we don't utilize them fully but I do get some good ideas from the Amazon emails that suggest different uses.
Radio, music, weather, playing Jeopardy. Great for podcasts, especially while cooking or cleaning. I also use Alexa to play rain, ocean, etc. sounds to help drift off to sleep.
Music, weather forecast, Alexa's Question of the Day, timer, wake-up alarm, radio, answers to any number of random questions that come to mind ("I wonder what..."). I haven't set up a "smart home" system yet to take advantage of other capabilities (my son-in-law is an expert on that). I'm in my mid-60's so adoption came slowly, but I find the technology useful. But...is she always listening???
I use mine to help with productivity - setting timers and alarms, encouraging me to take breaks throughout the day. I also use it to play background music and to get weather information while I'm making travel plans.