By Kelli B. Grant
Senior consumer reporter and “Deal of Day” columnist Kelli B. Grant travels to Las Vegas to find the best, the worst, and the most hyped gadgets at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Join her as she roams the exhibit floor for three days, with dispatches here and on Twitter @kellibgrant.
If it’s not enough that consumers can give voice commands to their TV and their phone, well, now the alarm clock wants to get in on the action.
Ivee’s new line of alarm clocks respond to 35 to 43 voice commands, depending on the model. She — and Ivee is a very polite-sounding she, with a slight accent — can help users set alarms and timers, and answer questions about the date, time and temperature. “She’s almost like Siri’s cousin, with an agenda,” says chief executive Jonathan Nostrant. The clocks, which sell for $50 to $60, also include ambient sleep sounds and, in some models, radio.
No need to worry about groggily mumbling “five more minutes,” and having Ivee listen, though. Nostrant says users have to say “Hello, Ivee” before issuing a command, and even then, she’ll only respond to a set list. (So be concerned only if you have a habit of yelling “alarm off” or “Hello, Ivee” while unconscious.)
And users do need to speak clearly. It took Ivee a few tries to respond to our “hellos.” “Maybe she just doesn’t like you,” says Nostrant. Touché, Ivee.