How Far We’ve Come

I’ve always a gadget & technology geek. My career field was electronics for better than 45 years so it came naturally. I was the first to have an IBM PC in 1978. In the early 1980s I became interested in voice recognition technology because of my quadriplegic fried paralyzed since he was 17. To that point all he could do was listen to cassette audio tapes of book. The rest of his days were spent watching TV. I decided to expand his world by collecting donations to build him a custom PC capable of getting him on the internet and controlling everything using only his voice. A generous donor bought him Kurzweil Voice, software that was on the leading edge of voice recognition technology.  That changed Dale’s life.

Using voice recognition software Dale was able to control the mouse and type by talking. That allowed him access to an unlimited online library. It also allowed him to play chess online and chat with new friends around the world. That was 1982.

Recently I saw an ad for Amazon’s Echo Dot, a third generation personal assistant that was like Apple’s Siri on steroids. Recently there has been a giant leap in voice recognition technology that allows control over everything in your home. With competition coming from Apple, Google, Amazon and others Amazon dropped the price on its 2nd generation Echo Dot, a hockey puck sized device that has a multitude of microphones and sensors all around its circumference. The unit is now selling for $49.95, half its original price.

I bought an echo dot 2 for my Christmas present to me from me. I buy the best gifts! 🙂 Now I can control all the lights in my apartment with GE LED wired built that have a receiver and 3 way dimming built right in them. They’re guaranteed to last 22 years and sell for about $13 each for a 60w bulb. These are programmed by a Wink hug that controls everything. The Amazon Echo Dot responds to voice commands to individual bulbs or groups of bulbs you program.

Some of the other capabilities of the Amazon Echo Dot include pairing to external bluetooth speakers such as my Bose Soundlink II that puts our incredible sound quality. It links to my Amazon Prime account that gives me a music library of over 250,000 songs. It also links to my amazon Kindle account and will read any book in my personal library plus the Prim account library of hundreds of thousands of title, for free. I can read chapter and verse of any bible or read chapters and books of the bible in their entirety. I can set alarms, get the weather report for anywhere and have Echo tell me the exact time. Echo never sleeps and is always eager to answer any question. It will even tell you jokes on demand.

So you can see that for an initial investment under $50 I can have a whole lot of fun. The Wink Hub is $62. Life is good!



4 thoughts on “How Far We’ve Come

  1. Wow! My mom would be more than overwhelmed. It is awesome isn’t it. My blind friend got one of the 1st votive command computer and it was awesome for her. She was thrilled that she could be connected to many things.n Enjoy your Christmas present.

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