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Google Home and Amazon Echo

The Hip Holiday Gifts for Home Automation

As the holidays approach ever closer, many hopeful gift recipients are wishing for cool advanced tech this Christmas. Home automation products, or technology equipped with artificial intelligence, are at the top of these wish lists. Two such buzzworthy products are Google Home and Amazon Echo.

Each A.I. acts as personal assistant to their owners. The Amazon Echo and Google home can play music, schedule appointments, and look up facts for the curious, etc. Basically, the devices perform basic needs for those interacting with them. They also have some pretty neat easter eggs hidden within their software too.

Google Home: An Entertainer in Disguise

By saying, "Ok Google," the Google Home device will immediately awaken and interact with you. Sure, Google Home could try to call your missing phone or look up breaking news headlines, but why not try something else? Why not joke around with it?

Try asking Google Home out-of-the-box questions like, "What am I thinking right now," and you'll be pleasantly surprised. Not only will Google Home respond with sarcasm and wit, but also with sassy humor. There are numerous silly questions and demands you can make of Google Home and each will be met with unique original responses.

Jokes not your cup-of-tea? How about games? Mad Libs and "crystal ball" (i.e. fortune telling) are just a few of the games people can play on Google Home. All featured games on the device are also interactive. The A.I. isn't just your score keeper, but acts as your opponent as well.

Google Home can even serenade you. This device is a talented beatboxer, rapper, and singer. Simply say, "Ok Google, beatbox," and she'll generate a mad beat on the fly for however long you want her to. Think of Google Home as your own personal pocket sized pop star. She'll entertain you for hours on end if you'll let her.

Amazon Echo: Alexa, Your New Best Friend

Much like Google Home, the Echo acts like a personal secretary. The device can schedule your upcoming doctor's appointment or order take-out-food from your favorite Thai restaurant. It is another versatile voice activated A. I. It also hides a few tricks up its sleeve as well.

Like reading? Enjoy hours of relishing a good book? So does the Amazon Echo. "Alexa" (as the Echo is so aptly named) will act as a personal narrator for you if you ask her to. When connected to your Audible account, Alexa can access your library then read a book of your choosing to you. She can even skip chapters for you and bookmark your progress.

Alexa also has a penchant for participating in practical jokes. By saying, "Simon says" to the device, Alexa will repeat whatever it is you say to her. Speaking the same phrase into the remote control works as well. This means that whoever else tries to interact with Alexa won't get the opportunity to. Nope. Instead, they will be hearing your commands through the A.I.'s voice. Pretty neat, huh?

The Amazon Echo likes to nerd out too. Alexa is a pop culture queen. Ask her anything from Star Trek to obscure Nintendo cheat codes, and she'll respond with humor. She'll even meet you line for line if you quote your favorite television show to her. Alexa also knows HAL from A Space Odyssey. Ask her about him. She'll have something interesting to say to you.

Whichever home automation device you may choose, both the Google Home and Amazon Echo are unique colorful personalities. Each device has an A.I. that will not only make daily life easier, but more engaging. Take the plunge this festive season and buy one of these products for someone special on your shopping list (or maybe, even, for yourself). They are the gifts that will keep on giving even long after the New Year comes.

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