They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me
dr_phil_physics

Future Echos

So we were watching the rerun of the pilot of the new Minority Report series on FOX.

Apparently TV cops in the future are as bad about following proper police procedures as contemporary TV cops. Go figure. But, there were some very cool visuals, much like last year's short-lived series Almost Human, but better.

I've always liked the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report. I really can't remember if I've read the Philip K. Dick originating story. But the slick production had quite a vision of the future. Some of the big pieces, like the vertical highways, were a bit much. The intrusive advertising, though, was frightfully wonderful. And the end was sweet.

The series also has some impressive visuals. The disconnecting and reconnecting trains -- cool -- but there's some logistic problems with it. Probably not too surprising, since Steven Spielberg has his hands in both movie and series.

I like the concept, don't know if they can keep it up.

But... what was really intriguing was the commercials. We figure that advertisers liked the expected geek demographics of which might be expected to watch Minority Report. There was a long semi-animated Honda ad, vaguely reminiscent of Ah-Ha's Take On Me video.

And... we saw the first ever for us TV commercial for the Amazon Echo. When we bought into Echo earlier this year (DW) (LJ), it was still in Beta and by invitation request only. They've since opened it up a little. I guess that if they're advertising on TV, Echo is going bigtime.

There's an interesting rebranding going on with Echo as well. The Amazon Echo software on the Kindle Fires recently updated and it is now called Amazon Alexa. Personally, I think this is a mistake, because Alexa is one of the two available default command words. You talk about Alexa and Echo perks up and tries to parse the request. They are now advertising Alexa technology in the new Amazon Fire TV systems.

What was intriguing, because I turned my head to look at Echo, is that the blue light failed to come on every time the commercial used the word Alexa or gave Echo demonstration commands. I tried one of the questions they used in the ad and got an answer -- worded slightly different and longer than the one on TV.

I'd be curious to know whether there is anything active in the Echo ad. Whether in the coding of the word Alexa in the audio or if Amazon's servers knew exactly when the ad would be aired. If we had a working VCR or owned a DVR, I suppose we could test this.

Echo isn't quite living in the Minority Report future, but we'll take it for now. (grin)

Speaking of TV cops... there are times I wonder why we bother watching the new Hawaii Five-O. It has jumped the shark so many times that they practically have to keep a precision synchronized shark jumping team on the payroll. Well, I do know why we watch. Because like a few of the other shows we watch, NCIS I'm looking at you, we like the ensemble cast.

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
Tags: amazon, echo, reviews, sf, technology, tv
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