Millions of individuals around the globe have a voice assistant of some form to facilitate creating shopping lists, playing music, setting alerts, and other tasks.
The Amazon Echo, known colloquially as ‘Alexa,’ is the most popular device that constantly listens. It is most commonly addressed as ‘Alexa.’
For a smart device like this, the only necessity is that it must be close to an electrical outlet. Thus, users don’t usually spend much time considering its position.
Since Alexa’s debut in 2014, it has become clear that specific environments can compromise its ability to listen to your voice or even put it in danger of harm.
The MailOnline discusses the worst locations for your Echo smart assistant and suggests more suitable spots to place it.
Since Alexa was introduced in 2014, it has been discovered that some popular places can limit its capacity to pick up your voice or put it at risk of harm. MailOnline has identified the worst spots to keep your Echo virtual assistant and where you should move it instead.
In 2014, the Alexa was launched, and users have since discovered that specific locations make it difficult for the device to detect your voice or put it in jeopardy of harm. MailOnline has uncovered the worst spots to place your Echo smart assistant and where it’s better suited to be
1. Avoid placing it near the lavatory
For those who want to watch over their homes while they are away, the Ring doorbell is a popular choice. However, some may not be correctly utilizing the device.
For individuals who are searching for a way to monitor their abode while away, the Ring doorbell is a popular choice. Unfortunately, it appears that many people are not utilizing the device correctly.
An announcement was made to the public to promote a product or service.
A new study established that all smartphones had fecal Streptococci on their screens – a type of microorganism typically found in human excrement.
When the toilet is flushed, microbes can be released into the air and, within eight seconds of flushing, reach a height of five feet (1.5 m) above the bowl, according to this study.
Without a lid, the emission of particles will increase the probability of bacteria being deposited on your phone or, if in the immediate vicinity, your smart speaker.
Hence, it is advised to keep your Alexa away from the bathroom or at least at a distance from the toilet for health reasons.
If you need to get energized in the shower, one option is to mount your playlist on the wall at a higher height.
Keeping the device away from the bath and sink is advised to avoid any potential water exposure.
2. Stow it away from the basin
It’s certainly not a good idea to put any electrical device near water, not only due to the potential harm that could be caused but also to avoid having your Alexa close to the sink.
A downside of voice commands is the difficulty of being heard over the sound of taps running; it can be challenging to be heard clearly.
The kitchen is undoubtedly an excellent place for an Amazon Echo, as it can detect the sound of beeping appliances, alerting you when the washing machine is finished.
For optimal hygiene and vocal health, keeping the microphone on a counter or table away from the sink is best to prevent any damage.
3. Keep it a distance from any windows
Placing a valuable item, such as an Amazon Echo, near a window could pose a safety risk.
Criminals may be attracted by it, potentially attempting to seize it or entering the premises unlawfully.
If an individual gains control of your voice assistant, they may be able to exploit any other devices linked as your automobile or door lock.
Consequently, storing it in an area that is not visible from the house’s exterior is desirable.
4. Make sure to keep the item far away from the television
The microphone of the virtual assistant is always on alert for any of the predetermined “wake” words like “Alexa,” which causes it to start recording the user’s instruction.
The user must actively take action to remove the recordings of their commands, or else an Amazon Echo will save them all.
To avoid having your device triggered by actors in commercials saying, “Alexa, play…” it is best to keep it away from the vicinity of the television.
This aims to prevent any private chats from being captured and prevent unintentional and annoying activation.
5. Keep it away from the bedroom
In 2019, it was divulged by whistleblowers that those employed by Amazon had accessed audio from Alexa speakers to make sure the devices were operating correctly, a reality that the firm affirmed.
Consequently, they captured moments like females vocalizing in the shower and reciting financial credentials aloud.
The mathematician and privacy specialist Dr. Hannah Fry declared that she keeps her device downstairs for that purpose alone.
Dr. Hannah Fry, an expert in mathematics and privacy, revealed that she only has her device downstairs, not in the bedroom or bathroom (illustration).
Mathematician and privacy expert Dr. Hannah Fry declared that her device stays only on the lower level of her house, never taking it to the bedroom or bathroom. (stock image)
The associate professor from University College London said: ‘I believe that certain places, such as the bedroom and restroom, should remain entirely private.’
This technology is activated when a designated word is uttered [e.g., ‘Alexa’], but it continues to record briefly afterward.
It is generally accepted, yet we should spend more hours pondering its implications.
What location should I store this item in?
CNET tech pros have uncovered the most advantageous spots for putting your Amazon Echo or any other smart speaker.
The living room has a corner far from the window, and the kitchen counter is also distant from the sink; these are the areas to place items.
A convenient area to place the device would be on a mantelpiece or shelf, making it noticeable when the light turns on to show that it is recording.
Mounting the device on a wall that does not have a window in front of it can ensure that it is safely kept, without being disturbed by any external noise, and visible to the user.
Having a valuable device, such as an Amazon Echo, close to a window can be a security risk as it acts like an invitation for criminals to attempt to steal it through the window (stock image).
Keeping any costly item, such as an Amazon Echo, by a window can be a safety risk. It can act as a beacon to criminals, who may attempt to access it by reaching in from outside the window (stock image).
Despite the known privacy issues that come with owning an Alexa, recently, this technology has been instrumental in helping to convict a murderer by its capacity to be ‘ever-listening.’
The court used recordings of an Amazon voice assistant that had captured Daniel White, 36, while he was strangling his wife.
In October of the past year, the convicted murderer forcibly opened the locked bedroom door of Angie White and proceeded to choke her before taking out a Stanley knife to slash her throat.
Afterward, he escaped from the residence in Swansea, Wales, in his spouse’s automobile and, several hours later, contacted the police to admit to murdering her.
In the investigation, law enforcement found that Alexa had retained White’s voice orders from the time of the killing, which benefitted the prosecution.
In the wee hours of the morning, when he ended Mrs. White’s life, he was recorded saying, “Turn on – Alexa” with a breathless tone.
This was proof that he had killed her right before giving the order.
Here are a few amusing questions you can ask your Amazon Echo
Those who possess an Amazon Echo in their home are likely to employ it regularly, such as to hear music or get updates on the news.
However, there is a variety of intriguing activities that Alexa can perform.
When you figure out what to ask, try your Alexa and see what she can do! She can tell jokes, give trivia, and even reference popular culture.
Giving these secret characteristics a try will surely not disappoint users and will be worth it.
If you’re looking to lift your spirits or pass the time, here are some queries you can direct to Alexa:
- Ask Alexa for a quip.
- Alexa, the Force is with me.
- Alexa, launch spirit medium.
- Alexa, do you have any furry friends?
- Alexa, enter the code 0001000 – terminate.