People always ask me what I think are going to be the “game-changers” in technology in the home, so today I wanted to talk with you about one of the biggest changes that I see coming for your kitchen space. That game-changer goes by the name “Alexa”. OK, OK…I know I’m about to get some static from you all out there in internet world….”What about Josh?” or “What about Google?” or any of the ever growing group of “Voice-First” concierge devices. You can talk about any of them here. I’m happy to have you substitute the name of your favorite one any time you see me mention Alexa. I am just going to be speaking about her from a pretty broad view here and any of these platforms should easily be able to accommodate these basics. In future blogs perhaps we’ll set up a side-by-side comparison of them. For today, I’m just using Alexa, because she’s pretty commonly used out there and she has a name that reminds me of a pleasant house guest.
In my kitchen, I always feel like I’m in the “heart-beat” of my house….it’s the gathering space by which everything passes through….it provides the energy and the “life-blood” to my household. Daily it’s where I prep for the day and I catch up with my kids about their school day. It’s where we prepare the meals, often telling stories or sharing jokes. More often than not, the kitchen is a place where those moments occur that, while at the time you might not even realize it, later in life you’ll reflect upon as being the “little things” that meant the most.
So one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen is to have music playing. It’s amazing how music can seemingly make everything a little bit better. If you’re cooking dinner it just makes it a little more fun. If you’re like me, a lot of cooking gets done during celebrations or the holidays and it’s always great fun when you can break out into an impromptu dance party in the kitchen. The only issue is, inevitably your FAVORITE song comes on when you are elbow deep in dish soap or you are carefully stirring a pot trying to avoid a bubbling over. THIS my friends is why Alexa will be your best house guest!
Want to turn up your ‘jam’? No problem…ask Alexa. Need to find a out a substitute for eggs since you’re fresh out? Alexa can help with that. Did your phone ring and you need to hear what the other person is saying? Ask Alexa to pause the music…and it’s done! Need to set a timer for the oven? Alexa can let you know when the cookies are just right.
Do you LOVE that song but can’t remember who the artist is? No worries, Alexa knows everyone from Barry White to Bruno Mars. Now if only I could figure out how to make my kids this responsive by only saying their name! Amazon or any other voice products, if you figure THAT out, I’ll be your BFFL! (Biggest Fan For Life!)
So that’s all great and everything you say, but how do I get started? Easy, just choose the voice-enabled device that works best for you and play around with it. I promise, it’s not that scary….just make sure that when you connect it you have set up the basics so your child isn’t able to order Barbie’s Dream House or a ton of cookies or something crazy…you laugh, but you can read about how that happened to one family HERE.
If you’re like me though, in addition to arming your kitchen with your newest gal-pal Alexa, you’re going to want to get a few additional accessories. I have in-ceiling speakers in my kitchen that are about 100 times better than that crazy little speaker on the Amazon Dot, Alexa’s home, so I want to be able to have my music rock out through those. With a few extra steps, that can happen.
I also am a HUGE fan of not having devices that clutter up my counter top, so I went on a search for a solution for that and boy was I stoked when I found the NEW Vail Amp by The DaVinci Group. This sweet little gadget allows you to flush mount your Dot right into the wall and even replace those nasty volume control knobs you might still have in an existing house. It’s a 60-watt digital high performance amplifier that will secure your Dot and allow you to have a volume control keypad, voice control capabilities and even be your streaming music source! All that for only $299 MSRP and you are in business! There is even another great piece out there
called the Spot for Dot by Vanco. This piece functions in a similar fashion to the Vail Amp and I’m sure that in short time there will be MANY more devices filling this space in the market.
So whether you’re looking to upgrade an outdated volume control knob ladened system in your existing house or you are building a new technology rich smart home, make sure that you invite Alexa to be a guest…I promise in short time she’ll be one of your FAVORITE house guests! If you’d like to learn more about getting Alexa set up or speakers installed or any of the accessories for these voice-enabled devices, feel free to visit our website or check us out on Facebook or Instagram.