“Alexa, are you my friend?”

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It’s always delightful to uncover easter eggs in products, even more so when the easter eggs are voice-based. Both the Echo and Google Home are filled with these.

During a team meetin earlier this week, we were talking a lot about the Google Home and Alexa and sure enough, they both were going off non stop. I’m not sure what was the combination of terms, but in one false trigger, the Google Home responded, “I don’t know, but I’ll ask her… Alexa, are you my friend?”

Last night, my daughter and I asked “Alexa, sing ABC” and sure enough, the device did a whole shtick about singing ABC as a William Shatner impression. It didn’t satisfy her for wanting to hear someone singing ABC but was an interesting distraction.

Easter eggs can delight or cause eye rolls but they help endear us with the device. This requires that developers take their focus away from feature building and bug fixes to add some spice to the mix. However, easter egg planting should be a required part of product development pre-release.

With the Ubi, we had replaced every conceivable swear word with the “nice”. We also replaced some branded responses with “Thank you” that made the device sound very Canadian. I’m sure it delighted a few people.

Independent daily thoughts on all things future, voice technologies and AI. More at http://linkedin.com/in/grebler

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