Common commands for Alexa:
“Alexa, let’s chat.”
“Alexa, play some music.”
“Alexa, read me my kindle book.”
“Alexa, shut up.”
"Alexa, turn the lights on!"
— What is it?
A personal project endeavor fuelled by curiosity. It is an exploration of our behavior and interaction with products. It is a response to the introduction of voice user interfaces and AI. Where are we heading with technology? If we streamline our life with products that 'do it all' then what is left of humanity?
— The impact.
The future of design - what it might be, and perhaps what it should be - should concern all of us.
The progress we are making with new technologies brings a lot of benefits, but are we losing the tactility of life in return?
The role of Alexa
The nature of these commands is understandable. There are moments in life when you may need some sort of assistance. Hopefully, Alexa makes life a little easier for the user. However, it makes me wonder about how Alexa is changing us - our behavior, our expectations, our demands, our dependencies, and our social interactions. What about kids that grow up with Alexa in their household? Will they be better off than others?
The thought process
I have decided to take a look at products that provide immediate feedback and how we might make the interaction more desirable than asking Alexa.
You might be thinking: "Why shouldn't we take advantage of this eager assistant?", "Alexa makes life so easy, almost frictionless!" — Well, that is exactly why. Life without friction is not a happy life. In order to advance both individually and societally, we need more friction in our lives, not less.
When we interact with our environment we get a childish rush of excitement as the object responds to our actions. We shouldn’t try to erase these little moments of joy and awe. Even if Alexa means well.
This version does not feature the metal standing/hanging clips. It was used to observe the behaviour of the light. It has also allowed me to get feedback from people on the design. The source of light in this model has a variety of settings (a range of colours, intensity and pulsing) which made the audience more interested in the object. Light has an important role for all living beings - light can be seen as a symbol of life. Therefore, a light with behaviour that responds and adapts to human actions would be of interest - for future endeavours...