HAL 9000

This isn’t product placement, just a comment. I pay just under a couple of $$ a month for added storage on GoogleDrive and last week Google invited me, “as a loyal customer”, to accept a free Smart Speaker which, naturally, I accepted. Yesterday I took delivery of small grey hamburger and plugged it in. I have thus far avoided smart speakers although I know they are popular – my experience with Siri’s ability to actually hear what I say has been less than compelling and I am usually quite capable of pressing a few buttons on a keyboard to get what I want – but, you know, free. What’s not to like? I imagine this once in a lifetime offer is because they are clearing old stock for a new version to be released. Mini but Mighty it said on the box.

I don’t think this is going to become a very become a big part of my life. I can still press buttons but I have to say the thing actually understood me out of the box and has not yet failed. It does remarkable things like telling me the time and reading a weather forecast (who knew?). It plays music from Spotify and the sound is good enough I guess for when I am working and not paying attention. I’m a bit confused to discover that the lady in the hamburger is the same voice as the lady in my car GPS – maybe she has a twin?

All interesting but somewhat ho-hum … and then the intranet told me that it makes telephone calls. No firing up of Skype, just a hands free telephone call. Now THAT is worth having a free hamburger on the desk for. When will Hal knock on the door and invite himself in?

Still can’t think of anything else to do with it though. Any ideas?