The day has been never ending. At one point I was on a conference call with work, the home phone rang, my mobile rang, somebody came to the door, and then my Dad called on the Amazon Echo in the kitchen – all within two or three minutes.
The Amazon Echo debacle is pretty funny now – it wasn’t at the time.
My Dad bought an Amazon Echo. To configure an Amazon Echo to use as a phone, it authenticates in the same way as WhatsApp – you need a mobile phone, with a contact list containing all the people you might want to contact through it (you can use an Echo like a phone, if you’re wondering where this is going). This is all straightforward, if you (a) setup the Echo in the first place, (b) put your own mobile phone number in the Echo mobile app correctly, and (c) have the correct mobile phone numbers of your friends and family in your phone. My Dad had none of these things. It took 24 hours to get to the bottom of it.
You should have heard him when it finally worked though. His voice burst out across our kitchen – “ARE YOU THERE?” – it was like some sort of dimented seance. He started giggling. I had to explain that I was already on a call with work in the other room. I called him back half an hour later, and had a ridiculous shouted conversation across our kitchen, and his.
I know my Dad. I’m wondering how many days until he has Echo Dots around the entire house, Phillips lightbulbs, a Firestick, and who knows what else. I imagine his “Alexa” will have to enter some sort of abuse recovery programme, given the amount of swearing she will be subjected to.