Timers Need to Exist in Multiple Places

One of the killer apps of the Ubi, the Echo, and the Google Home is countdown timers. These are essential for remember when to do something while cooking in the kitchen or to not forget before something happens.

On Android phones, Google Now (and maybe assistant… not sure) could remind you to do something based in GPS location (e.g. “Remind me when I get home to compliment my wife…”).

On the Ubi, we had added integration with Google Calendar for reminders so that one could see what reminders had been set up (alarms and reminders were treated the same). The other thing is that we could provide context to the reminder through natural language understanding “Remind me to walk the dog at 3 PM” or “Set a reminder in 3 minutes to walk the down” worked. Even the Echo today doesn’t have this capability and just adds the reminder to a To-Do list rather than setting an alarm.

One thing is clear that being able to access these countdown timers and reminder on our device would be extremely helpful — even if we aren’t next to the device. If the Alexa app were to issue a system message when a timer went off (that also allowed it to be dismissed), it’d be that much more powerful.

In any case, timers that are set on these devices should find there way into our calendars so that they can be easily changed or deleted through a secondary interface.

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