There’s no pause when my children speak to a smart speaker. It’s a small difference, but noteworthy because of their confidence. Even toddlers can work out a touchscreen interface. They’re not thinking about the interaction with technology: They’re just doing it.
It’s been fascinating to watch my children’s reaction to smart speakers and their voice-control features. Like many adults — even tech-savvy ones — my mode of interaction is “Alexa?” (or “Hey Siri?” or “Hey Google?”), and then a pause before giving some voice command. It’s a pause that, I think, still signifies disbelief. Can I really talk to a device and have it understand me? Do I need to speak slowly and leave gaps?
“This new product has the potential to raise serious privacy concerns as Mattel can build an in-depth profile of children and their family. It appears that never before has a device had the capability to so intimately look into the life of a child,” the petition stated. Less than a fortnight later, Mattel canceled the device.