Amelia, where did I put the phone?
“The phone is in your right hand.”
Clarissa, how many times did Satchel Paige strikeout last night?
“Satchel Paige died in 1982.”
Allegra. Armyna. Odessa. “Saturday Night Live’s” Amazon Echo Silver responds to any name that even kind of sounds like the Echo’s actual wake word, Alexa. The skit imagines how an Echo-like device created especially for senior citizens would behave.
The idea might be funny — and a bit patronizing: Let’s laugh at old people! — but it’s not entirely far-fetched. Israeli startup Intuition Robotics is working on an actual device that fits this description, called ElliQ.
ElliQ differs from Echo in that it has a head-like component that moves to help illustrate the robot’s meaning when it responds to commands. It also has a screen, a feature now available on Amazon’s recently announced Echo Show.
Something the fictional Silver has that no other smart home device can do: A feature for saying “uh-huh” repeatedly when a user is telling a rambling, pointless story.