Home automation and smart home assistants are hitting every corner of pop culture – from celebrity endorsements to shout outs in Burger King commercials – and the more it is used, the more ways that people find to use it. Here are five ways that people use digital home assistants for entertainment:
1. To Play Games
This one is pretty obvious, given the sheer number of game skills that are available to activate on the Amazon Echo and Google Home. There are games for almost any category that you can think of, from educational to silly. There are big games in on the fun, like Jeopardy!, and also a bunch of new and unknowns. I happen to be a fan of the trivia-based games. These are entertaining, but there is still some development to be done to make these games really worthwhile.
2. To Control Their Entertainment Centers
A great way to use your digital home assistant system is to control your entertainment center. If you have your lights and other electronics hooked up to operate together and with your voice assistant, you can easily give a command like “turn on movie night” and get the exact right mood without any effort. To do this, you’ll just need to set up IFTTT functionality to your specifications.
3. To Play Music and Podcasts
Since the smart home assistants are also speakers, they are a great option for listening to music. The Amazon Echo can tap into Amazon Prime music, or any music that you’ve purchased from the e-commerce site. Google Home and the Amazon Echo will tap into other music apps like Spotify and Pandora, and can also support most of your favorite podcasts.
4. To Settle Arguments
This isn’t exactly the most innovative way to use a smart home assistant – after all Amazon even features this use in one of their promotional commercials – but it is one of my favorite ways. I happen to be a very competitive person, and I love proving people wrong. Sure, I could just use my long-time friend, Google search engine, to look something up, but there is something so satisfying in hearing someone else read out the facts that prove you are right. No more looking something up, finding the answer, and shoving my phone in someone’s face. Now I can just have my point proven loudly and clearly to the entire room all at once.
5. To Keep Their Kids Busy
I’m not saying that the digital assistants are babysitters, but I’m also not saying that they aren’t. Kids as young as two years old are catching on and figuring out how to activate and operate these devices. We’ve all seen that unfortunate incident where the Amazon Echo couldn’t decipher a child’s language and ended up returning results that were pornographic. I’ve also personally witnessed young children in my family using these devices to access actually kid-friendly content, like nursery rhymes, stories, games, and educational content.