The Echo Spot, the not Alarm Clock

My Echo Spot

December 21, 2017 I received my second Echo, an Echo Spot. This was to be my new alarm clock for the bedroom.

Step one was to tape over the camera (it can be disabled in software, but that is software). Then I would have an alarm clock that I could remotely add an alarm too (when I make my flight reservations, open Alexa App and set the wake up alarm). I would assume, I would be able to set complex alarms (like on a digital thermostat), Monday to Friday alarm at 5:30am, but not the weekend, and heck it is connected to the web, so, and not holidays!

I could listen to an endless selection of music, or sounds to fall asleep to. I would be able to customize the face of the clock.

I could even after been awoken at 5am to go for a run, ask “Alexa, what temperature is it outside” and know if I am really that dedicated.

It is not making it as an alarm clock for the following reasons.

The lack of clock faces.

With this being a little round device, you would think they would have a lot of clock faces. They do, but not the one I am looking for. Many faces can be chosen, including using your own photo. The issue is if you do want to use your own photo, then the selection drops to only a few, and no analog with all the numbers on the face.

The lack of a ALARM OFF button

The Echo Spot has three buttons. Volume up, down, and mute. Unlike the original Echo there is no physical button to cancel the alarm. Swiping the screen ‘may work’ but at 3:30am when the alarm is going off for me to catch a plane, chasing a small ball around the bedside table while I practice my finger-to-screen coordination does not sound fun, for me, or my wife who does not need to get up.

You can cancel the alarm with a voice command, that once again would not impress Joan, me ‘yelling’ at the alarm clock.

You can not pair the remote with it. This would have been a workaround, use the Echo Remote… nope, no remote support.

The lack of a compound music sleep command

I like to fall asleep to music. I really do not want it on all night. Most good bedroom alarm clocks, have the sleep button to turn on the radio for some set of time, then turn it off. You can do this, but it is awkward. First command the music “Alexa, play soft rock”, then “Alexa set an alarm to turn off the music in 60 minutes”. That does not seem like what I would like to do every night.

You can set up a routine, such as ‘Alexa, Start my Morning’ and have the Echo perform a set of items. You can not select from play a music list nor a ability to stop the music after a set of time.

The other stuff

A snooze button would be nice to have with the alarm off button.

ramping volume, does not work. ‘Alexa, set an alarm with [music choice] at [time]” then set in the app to ‘ramp the volume’… nope, ‘Johnny be good’ comes out at FULL volume.

small bugs, When you upload your own picture, the result is not cropped correctly. If you, on the app, center a house in the crop circle, then upload it, the house will be off to the right of center (alot off).

Thoughts to fix it!

Adding buttons to the Echo Spot I have is impossible. Why not add a feature that if I wave in front of the camera it will snooze, and covering it with my hand kills the alarm.

The Echo can already understand if I am in the office talking to the Echo Spot,  “Alexa, play soft rock on the Kitchen Echo” and have the Echo in the Kitchen play music, so why not “Alexa, play soft rock for 1 hour”?


About the Author

Kevin Cossaboon

A networking profesional located in Northren Virginia, USA. My hobbies are Technology and Photography. Love playing with the latest technology, and will try to post reviews of them. Also love my life long journey of learning to capture light, to trigger emotions, through photography.

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