It’s tempting to turn your Amazon Echo or Google Home into an alarm clock. You may already have a smart speaker sitting on your nightstand, and the ability to switch off the alarm or get an extra 10 minutes of snooze time without lifting a finger (or even opening your eyes) is a huge plus.
Despite all those perks, it just isn’t worth relying on one of these AI gadgets for something as important as making you wake up on time each morning. It’s too easy for something to go wrong, and that’s exactly what happened last Friday. Not to me, but to a friend.
Personally, I still use my smartphone as an alarm because I like to wake up to music and Google Home doesn't exactly make that easy. But when I woke up last Friday, the first words out of my mouth were "OK Google," typically followed by "good morning" to trigger a daily weather and news update. Instead, Google Assistant quickly cut me off to explain that it was no longer connected to Wi-Fi.
Clearly something was wrong. All my smart lights and smart plugs were disconnected too, as was the Chromecast plugged into my TV and the Echo Dot in my kitchen. After fiddling with the Wi-Fi settings on my phone with no success, I posted a message on my apartment building's private Facebook group to see if anyone else was having the same issue. Within a few seconds a neighbour responded, confirming that it wasn't just me.
"My Amazon Echoes were disconnected this morning and I slept through my alarm," he wrote.
So learn from my neighbour's misfortune (I certainly will). Don't rely on your Amazon Echo or Google Home for anything that you really actually need. All it takes is some unexpected glitch in your Wi-Fi overnight to totally ruin your morning. And if you insist on setting an alarm with your smart speaker, at least use your phone as a backup.