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“Hey Google! Alexa! Or whoever you are!”

Will we be able to live without them?

Obvious and mediocre won’t be found here—but “Why didn’t I think of that?” will! Challenging the banking status quo is Dan Fisher’s personal mission. Obvious and mediocre won’t be found here—but “Why didn’t I think of that?” will! Challenging the banking status quo is Dan Fisher’s personal mission.

Is there an Echo in the room? Yes, it is Alexa from the Amazonian Universe! Not to be outdone … Google has launched Google Home with “Hey Google.”

Digital assistants are the new rage and are entering everyday life by storm. We predict that 96% of all homes will have a digital assistant of some kind, soon, which would be consistent with the U.S. Department of Energy study on American households and microwave ovens. How can we live without them? (Microwaves and digital assistants, that is.) 

A few points about living with digital assistants

So, in advance of this blog we conducted a bit of research on the devices to see how they were being used.

• We found that there are a bunch of significant others, daughters, and sisters named Alexa. Wonder if Amazon researched and thought that using Alexa would be fun since it was one of the more popular names in the country. Not!

• Warning about re-gifting! If you have an Echo and you purchase an Echo Dot to expand the range of the device in the home and you decide to re-gift it, you may soon find out that the device, while installed at the home of the recipient, remains paired with your Echo. So, when the request to play Ed Sheeran loud is given, you may be in for a big surprise! Don’t forget about the Wi-Fi lights, too!

True story, big brother gave to little sister for Christmas. She figured it out and you know the rest of the story. He lives seven hours away, but as far a little sister goes, Alexa is her new BFF. Priceless!

• Hey Google can get you into trouble, too! That is if your significant other doesn’t hear the Google part and she thinks you are yelling at her! Digital assistants are clearly causing trouble at home.

Digital assistants and you

What do you use your digital assistant for?

1. What time is it?

Hey … don’t you have an Apple Watch? Jeez!

2. What is the temperature outside?

If you live in Fargo, that is important information, but don’t check the smart phone that you are texting on right now.

3. What is the score of the Super Bowl?

Well, that was really helpful, if you were playing video games or streaming Netflix on your smart TV.

4. How many days to my vacation?

The assistant will need a little more information, not a bad question.

5. How many days until my retirement?

Same as question four, if you’re in a hurry!

6. Alexa, play Pandora?

“Pandora what?”

My point is that integration of a digital assistant requires effort as you seek to achieve a smart home. Most just choose a little music from the smart phone and basic questions that can be answered by the device without much effort.

Full integration? Well, that is up to you … and guess who!

Choose wisely!

—The Wombat!

Dan Fisher

Dan Fisher is president and CEO of The Copper River Group, a consulting firm headquartered in Fargo, N. D., that focuses on technology and payment systems research and consulting for community financial institutions. For nearly 30 years, Fisher has worked in the financial industry using technology to improve the bottom line. He was CIO of Community First Bankshares (now part of Bank of the West), has served as a director of the Federal Reserve Board of Minneapolis, the chairman of the American Bankers Association Payment Systems Committee, and was a member of the Independent Community Bankers of America Payments Committee. Fisher has written numerous articles on banking technology and the payments system. He has authored or co-authored six books and recently published a book titled, "Capturing Your Customer! The New Technology of Remote Deposit." You can contact Fisher at [email protected] or at 701-293-6222.
P.S. To understand Dan's nickname, check out "About the Wombat" on his website.       

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