FRESNO, CA – The smart home has been a dream of many inventors and futurists. But some aren’t so sure that’s a good thing. Randy Boyle found that out the hard way when a conversation that he had out loud turned into a confusing and awkward situation.
A few months previous, Boyle had fulfilled a dream of fully automating his house with a series of Amazon Echos. Through Alexa, the name of the digital assistant, he can control actions through the sound of his voice, such as locking his doors, turning lights on and off, or adding items to a grocery list.
Mr. Boyle recalled how the situation came up. “I was car shopping online and saw this really nice Lexus. I remember saying something like,” Ooooh, a Lexus!” out loud. I guess that sounded like I had said “Alexa” and apparently, my Echo snapped to attention.”
According to Mr. Boyle, he immediately thought of a friend of his who he had a bit of a falling out with last Fall, David Morris. Their friendship had been strained since Mr. Morris returned a borrowed leaf blower in less than stellar condition. Boyle had not talked to him since the altercation occurred.
“I remember thinking,” Awww, David is going to be SO jealous” while I was imagining myself driving by his house behind the wheel. I guess I had said it out loud and Alexa thought I had said “call David” instead. Suddenly, I hear David’s voice say, “Hello? Randy?” over the loudspeaker, and I’m going…..bloody hell…..I have to talk to him now.”
Despite the awkward situation, Boyle said he successfully acted genuine while talking to someone he didn’t want to talk to. At the time of print, Mr. Boyle had reluctantly accepted an invitation to Mr. Morris’s Spring Fling BBQ party where he is involuntarily expected to bring food, drinks, and the Bar-B-Que for Mr. Morris and his fifty-four guests.