Amazon hasn’t figured out how customers can buy things with Alexa, its digital assistant, which is largely a disappointment for the company. But while Alexa has underperformed as a product for Amazon, we want to know how it performs for the people who really matter: us.
If you’ve purchased a smart speaker or display powered by a voice-activated digital assistant like Alexa, we’d love to hear from you. Does your family still use it, and if so, how?
I’m an editor in the technical department of The New York Times and have two boys, ages 6 and 8. In some families with young children, like mine, voice assistants are immensely helpful. My first-grader asks Alexa about the weather before getting dressed in the morning. He and his brother use it to check their math, play problem-solving games, and control the music played in our house.
They’re too young for phones, so Alexa gives them access to the digital world — and without the nasty stuff like online predators.
When my boys ask me something at dinner that I can’t answer, I don’t bring my phone to the table to do a Google search. We ask Alexa. I help them perfect how to ask the question to get the right result, somewhat similar to how previous generations of parents taught their children how to use reference books.
I’m curious how other families experience voice assistants. Tell us how surprised you were to hear your kids ask or have Alexa do it. If you’ve come up with some great life or parenting hacks with it, we want to hear about that too.
We’re also curious if you’re using the assistant in ways Amazon hoped, such as online shopping. Or if it led you to sign up for one of the company’s subscription services, such as Prime or Audible. Or maybe you thought it was a shame – and scary.
We plan to publish a selection of the responses in a future article about the ways families use (or don’t use) digital assistants. We will not publish any part of your submission without contacting you first. We may use your contact details to contact you.