I own two Amazon Alexa devices that I use around the house, mostly to listen to music. This is a little story about how my life has been enriched by this still relatively new technology.
Like many people, I have a big collection of music that I like to listen to. Years ago, it used to be on gramophone records, then tapes and CD's, nowadays the hard disk in my computer and on my smartphone. These recording media have needed a variety of devices over the years to play the music. Of course, when I am relaxing on the sofa, I can use any device I choose to listen to. But what about when I'm working in the kitchen, or folding laundry in the bedroom? I could carry the laptop around the house with me, if I really wanted to, but the fact is I don't want to. And yes, the phone is small and convenient, but its battery runs down too fast.
This is where Amazon's Echo Dot beats all the alternatives. It is small enough to sit unobtrusively in any room of the house, taking up very little space, and always ready at a moment's notice to obey my commands. My music used often to go for many days unheard; now I listen to something nearly every day. The convenience is amazing.
When people talk about information technology, they often think first about the business uses. Of course, business companies are huge users, but we as individuals are too. That is, if we want to. Some people are afraid of a device that's always listening for their instructions. But if you think about it, isn't this just a return to historical times, when wealthier people had domestic servants in their houses? Weren't the servants always listening too?
21st century technology is changing our lives today at a faster rate than at any other time in human history. For some, the changes are taking us backwards. For me, they are ushering in a new world of opportunities.
By the way, I get to listen to the music that I want to hear, for free. I don't pay Amazon or anyone else for the privilege. Being a programmer, I developed an Alexa skill to play my music, from my collection.