Has Amazon Echo become a Dorm Essential? The Smart Dorm.

Has Amazon Echo become a Dorm Essential?  The Smart Dorm.

Guest post written by Level Up Your Home Super Intern, Monica Cipriano, incoming Sophomore at University of Maryland.

Is the Echo Dot Really Worth It?

The Amazon Echo Dot has generated a lot of buzz over the past year, claiming to act as your personal assistant.  But does it live up to the hype?  Recently I was given the opportunity to take a Dot home and test it out, to see if it really is a useful tool or just a glorified version of Siri.

As a college student, my main priority is to get my life together.  College is an exciting place to try new things and figure out what you want to do, but it’s also chaotic, busy, and overwhelming.  Therefore, when I was exploring Alexa, I was looking for ways she can improve my life at school so I’m not constantly a jumbled mess.  Here are my top 5 favorite things I discovered.

1. Alexa is like a day planner on steroids

Traditional day planners only work if you remember to write everything down and remember to check them.  With Alexa, you can set reminders, customize alarms, and schedule your week all without having to pick up a pen.  This year my class times vary drastically, so having Alexa there to automatically adjust my alarm based on the day of the week will be so much better than manually adding and deleting alarms on my phone every night.

2. It’s like having a butler on call 24/7

With Alexa, I can order anything I want without thinking twice.  If I want pizza, she gets dominos.  If I want coffee, Starbucks is a command away.  An Uber? She does that too.  By asking Alexa to order for me, I can save time when I am with my friends, and nobody needs to scramble to find a laptop.  It’s surprisingly life changing.

3. She acts like your personal DJ

Alexa connects to Spotify!  As someone who finally stopped mooching off their friends account and has gotten one of her own, I can say I use Spotify every day.  Alexa can access my playlists, find new ones, and play the top songs of the week.  Outside of Spotify, she gives you recommendations based on genre, plays the top hits, and even sings herself (which is very amusing).

4. She is the private tutor you didn’t know you needed

Alexa can look up almost anything you ask her, making her one of the most helpful homework tools I know.  Ask her math questions, science facts, you name it.  You’d be surprised how much more you get done when you ask her questions rather than stopping what you’re doing to manually type them into a search engine.

5. Alexa is always learning

By far my favorite aspect of Alexa is that there is always more she can do.  Alexa comes with the ability to enable different skills, allowing her to get smarter.  You can enable games like Jeopardy, skills like ordering food, and funny anecdotes like telling jokes.  It’s impossible to grow bored of her.

The consensus? It’s totally worth it.

Although it was skeptical at first, the Echo Dot is very useful.  It exists to simplify your life, and it does its job well.  The more you interact with Alexa, the more helpful she becomes, and she does quite literally become your personal assistant.  Personally, I am very excited to bring her to school with me so she can help me get my life together.



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