Today, out of curiosity (and also for lack of novelty at Apple HomePod (#bisousurlafesse), the Numéramous have met a user of the alternative low-cost to Siri offered by Amazon, Amazon Alexa. Here are the highlights of our interview with a self-proclaimed emeritus expert onAlexa, Jean-Valéry Modo du Cosson, living in the North, near Lille.
The discovery ofAlexa
Numeramous (Nm): Jean-Valéry Modo du Cosson, will you allow us to call you Alex? It's more running and less sucks ...
Jean-Valéry Modo du Cosson (Alex): Yes, no problem. Cindy isn't that bad either…?
Nm: no, no, Alex is good… So Alex, you are a recognized expert on Amazon Alexa. How did you come to use this d… solution?
Alex: Well actually, I ran into it a month ago ...
Nm: Fall on it? You mean you came to Alexa by chance ?
Alex: No, no, fallen… In fact, I was walking around at Boulanger's and I sprawled out on the shelves of Les Echos… I crushed the box of an Echo Spot and they forced me to buy it…
Nm: … Ok an alarm clock… But originally you wanted to buy a HomePod of course…
Alex: Houlà no, not at all! I don't have an arm to sell to buy myself this mess ...
Nm: … Indeed, it looks like you had a shock to the head… And if not, how were your first steps with Alexa ? Oh, by the way, we'll call you Phil, because Alex and Alexa, that is confusing.
Alexa on an regular basis
Alex (Phil): Ok, but Cindy is good too, eh… So to finish, I bought it and the installation was very easy. Everything is done on the Spot screen: choice of Wifi network, passwords… No problem… In 10 min, it's settled.
Nm: Ah… and in use? To turn on the lights for example?
Phil: Yes then there at the beginning, there were hiccups ... I had seen thatAlexa could help me turn on the lights. I asked her and she replied "sorry, I don't know" ... So my wife was going to light up. Indeed, Alexa was helping me but my wife was fed up. So I bought smart bulbs. And there it is much easier!
Nm: Ah ok ... so you have to buy additional equipment, Alexa does not do everything on its own! And how much is a connected light bulb? Affordable? In the 100- 150 € at the Apple Store?
Phil: Not at all. For a good quality bulb, variable colors and intensity, it is between 20 and 25 €. You plug in the bulb, you install the application on your phone, you make the pairing, then the activation of the skill on Alexa who will discover the bulb and presto!
Nm: Houlà ... Wait, wait, after "plug in the light bulb" can you repeat? It's super complicated!
Phil: the first time it may seem quite strange to have to install an application and then a skill, but in principle, it's not stupid. The bulb, or the socket, or any other object works the same way. So the procedure is always the same. You install your device on the dedicated application to make it communicate to Wi-Fi in order to manage them and the skill will allow Alexa to communicate with this application, and therefore the devices. In the end, it's very fast: 5 to 10 min big max if you start from zero ...
Nm: ... Either ... But apart from turning on the lights, what does this speaker do?
Phil: As I said, you have to listen a little, we can also control roller shutter switches, sockets, cameras and even thermostats or even essential oil diffusers ... And if people have difficulties, we can to find tutorials on www.lesalexiens.fr!
Nm: Yes so you don't talk about them okay !? We try to find their address to go break their gs… say hi! Good… But it is only used for home automation in the end! It's a bit short! By the way, Phil, it's not great… We'll call you Victor!
Phil (Victor): And Cindy…? Okay… No, we can do a lot more. The skills are in fact the equivalents of the applications on the telephone. You can find it for everything. Those to control connected devices of course, but also for everything and nothing: cook with a Thermomix, Escape Game but also information, various games, timetables… I use it a lot to find out if my buses in Lille will be on time or not… Moreover, they never are and my subscription no longer works, and they don't. do not answer me! Anyway… I'm rambling. But let's be honest not everything is good, a lot of the skills are bad enough. But we find our happiness.
Nm: Yeah, I see… So in fact, without skill, Alexa does not know how to do anything ...
Victor: Yes, of course. Basically, she can do research on the net, give you the weather forecast, the traffic, answer your requests, tell you jokes, timers, alarm clock ... Anyway ... A lot of stuff. And with routines, everything can be systematized… Turn on the lights at such and such a time, turn them off and steal them at such and such a time…
Nm: Of course, of course ... So if we listen to you, Alexa does everything except coffee.
Victor: Well ... she can ...
Nm: Eh ?
Victor: If we put aside a coffee maker with Alexa On board, it is possible in some cases to tweak your coffee maker with a Switch or even to put a small module that will press the button ... So it is possible, not in all cases, but it is possible.
Victor: Questions ?
Nm: uh ... yes of course ... she has many problems this Alexa !?
Victor: ah well yes, of course.
Nm: go ahead, you interest us!
Problems with Alexa ?
Victor: Well, there are sometimes problems with response times,red rings... She is sometimes offline or loses control, but it's still quite limited. Some skills of connected homes sometimes have a fairly high latency and others do not exist in French. And in principle, if it does not exist in French, it is not possible to use it if your account is an account Amazon. Fr. It's a shame, especially when the skill has existed in the UK for months (Harmony or LG for example). And that is annoying! And as I told you earlier, most French skills are of poor quality.
Nm: yeah so Amazon is not at the top!
Victor: Yes and no, the skills are developed by the manufacturers, so the problem is more with them. In principle, not really a problem, even if sometimes there are problems with understanding, it can be tough… But hey, in the end, it's quite limited. The other problem is that you feel like you are the fifth wheel of the coach, because Echo Show is available in Italy, Spain, Germany but not in France… And no information fromAmazon. We have the impression of being taken for baltringues. Same for the Fire TV Cube… As much to say to you that we do not really understand this lack of communication and consideration… To believe that the French do not count…
Nm: Whereas with Apple, no problem.
Victor: Yes, at the same time there is not the same number of users for the HomePod to my knowledge…
Nm: this is normal, it is not for the vulgus pecum! Okay if not to finish, do you see a question that we forgot?
Victor: Yes… who are you exactly?
Nm: Okay ... we're gonna stop this interview. Thanks Cindy.
Cindy: Thank you !!
These are the highlights of our interview with Cindy, alias Victor, alias Phil, alias Alex, alias Jean-Valéry. As you can guess at the hint, an enclosure well below 400 € which works with almost everything and especially with prices that are too low (25 € for a bulb, no, but serious ...) necessarily has problems! Hey yes she is sometimes leaf hard, the skills are not not all top et the French are taken for buzzards… But then, why do they cling to it? We will have to take a closer look ... Something escapes us ...