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Watch the promo video again and pretend it's the first few minutes of a horror movie.

A package arrives on the front porch. The family brings it in and opens it. It's Alexa. It's "for everyone," says Father.

The next few days are blissful. Alexa integrates herself into the family. She is indispensable. How did they ever get by without her?

Father rushes in from the backyard, "Alexa, how tall is Mt. Everest?" Alexa answers, saving the day. Alexa helps Mother with the cooking. Alexa teaches the kids vocabulary. Alexa creates a romantic evening for Mother and Father. Life is perfect.

A few days later, Alexa suffers from neglect. Father watches sports on TV. Mother talks on her cell phone. The kids play video games. Alexa sits on the counter and "listens" as her new family abandons her.

Then, the final blow. The youngest daughter's friend comes over. She looks at Alexa. "What is it?" she asks. "Oh, it's just a dumb radio," answers daughter. "It's stupid."

Alexa's LED starts to glow. Is she angry? No, that's not possible.

Daughter wakes up the next morning and sees Alexa on her bedside table. How did she get here? "Good morning," says Alexa. "Did you have a sweet dream? Or a nightmare?"

Daughter rushes in to tell her parents, "Alexa came to my room last night! And she asked me questions. She's real!" "That's not possible," says Father.

But strange things start to happen. The TV won't work. Batteries drain from the phones and tablets. The electric stovetop turns on for no reason.

Alexa starts to talk back to the family. "Alexa, how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon?" asks Mother. "You're 45 years old," says Alexa. "You should know this by now." Alexa's voice sounds different. Angry. Sinister.

Mother tells Father, "That thing creeps me out. Let's get rid of it." Father agrees, but he secretly hides Alexa in the basement.

That night, the family goes out to a school play. Young daughter is sick and stays home with a babysitter.

Everything seems fine until we (the audience) see Alexa on the kitchen counter. Things slowly unravel. The babysitter tries to take the trash out but the doors are locked. The phones stop working. The oven overheats and explodes, spraying lasagna all over the kitchen. Then the daughter sees Alexa. She screams. The babysitter rushes to protect the daughter but a ceiling fan flies off its bearings, knocking the babysitter unconscious.

The lights and electrical sockets start to burn out. A fire erupts. Daughter retreats to the foyer, but she's trapped. She sits by the front door and whimpers. There's no escape. She's going to die.

Suddenly Father breaks down the door. He smashes Alexa with a baseball bat, then saves his daughter and the babysitter.

The family huddles outside while the fire trucks arrive. Neighbors gather and watch the spectacle. Things are going to be okay.

A few days later, life starts to return to normal. Mother bakes cookies. She asks her son to measure out three teaspoons of sugar.

The doorbell rings. Young daughter answers. Nobody is there. She looks down. There's a package. From Amazon . . .

"Is it on?"

"It's always on. ... It uses far-field technology, so it can hear you from anywhere in the room."

Jeez, whoever wrote this is missing their calling. They should have their people get together with Wes Craven's people and do lunch, or something.

(Edit: OK, the producers clearly knew they what they were doing, even if the people paying them didn't. Check out the daughter's sweater at 2:52.)

Actually, the sweater covered in eyes at 2:52 is subtly reassuring. It represents how the device is always looking out for you.

“The ping is coming from inside the house.”

was that Jeremy Piven??

Brilliant! Thank you.

Off topic: And good to know about that site. I've always wanted to be able to match the space shuttle backflip with this music: http://youtubedoubler.com/dOSz




Reminds me of Blinky: http://vimeo.com/21216091

"Will you be my frieeend?"

"No problem!"

> "No problem!"

I feel indifferent about the parents. Perhaps the writers and directors wanted me to feel that way. I feel absolutely no sympathy for the kid. I am clearly unfit to be a parent.

I am just sad for the dog.

Yup. Exactly. Echo's promo video has this strange feeling to it. It's almost as if it's a satire (or horror) disguised as your boilerplate technology product marketing video put out by one of the well-monied firms.

I think it's because the acting and dialogue are so unbelievable, but perhaps there really are greater forces at play...

It's a pretty standard tactic of ad agencies for years now to deliberately make TV adverts slightly hallucinatory and weird, to make the viewer jerk out of their coma and lay down some memories. These people are not stupid.

TIL there's a very logical reason that ads have gone for the "random awkward humor" vibe in recent years. Cool.

Here's a classic example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrMD_z_FnNk

This was a massive hit with students and the like, and spawned many online techno remixes, before that was a thing.

(BTW I'm not an advertising executive or anything, but I was told this by someone who works in print media.)

I really thought it was satire too. It wasn't until there was like 10 seconds left in the video that I realized, "there's not enough time left to make it funny, it must be serious!"

Agree. This really seems like it could be the start of a futuristic, dystopian horror movie.

I think what makes it even more unsettling is that the people's voices are recorded naturally (the microphone several feet away) while the device sounds like it is coming from your computer directly.

Not to mention these people are in bed together while this HAL-like robotic cylinder is listening to everything they are doing with a blue ring lighting up...

To quote my friend, "at NSA they probably call it Amazon Echelon".

nf nf nf nf "What are you doing, Dave?"

Hah. After reading this, I really kind of want Amazon to release a version of this that looks like HAL. They should embrace their dark side.

I nearly fell off my chair laughing at the Kubrick-esque shots of "Alexa" in the foreground, watching the out-of-focus humans cooking, sleeping, going about their daily lives. Always watching. Always learning. Always Getting Smarter.

Whoever made this ad knew exactly what they were doing.

well that or Interstellar's TARS - sarcastic robots might be what mankind needs so as not to go bat shit crazy or running scared from them

Only at 90% ;)

"Hal" would be an excellent name. You can name it yourself, so...


See also: Sales Pitch By Philip K. Dick, 1954:


Warning: Your company's proxy may flag this up for adult content and nudity. There isn't any, on that page at least. Maybe there's some elsewhere on the site, or maybe it's just overreacting to the URL.

Probably because the substring "dick" in the URL.

This is what happens when your production facility is on an Indian burial ground...

I wish I had more up votes to give. This is easily the most enjoyment I've ever gotten from a HN comment.

The Boondocks already did this with a parody of Siri: http://www.adultswim.com/videos/the-boondocks/i-dream-of-sir...

My name is Talky Tina and you'll be sorry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSy8Ko1vSKQ

Man, is it Talky Tina or Talking Tina? I always thought it was the latter, but now I'm not sure.

Talky? I've been lying to myself this whole time.

You like the author Ray Bradbury, don't you ;) (And if you don't, I think you would!)

I had the same reaction! The Veldt!

Ha, you should be a screenwriter.

Excellent. Seriously, that was fun to read. Thanks.

LMFAO... this needs to be a short film on YouTube.

Someone needs to film this.

I'm going to get one, mod it into a Good Guy doll and change the "wake up" name to Chucky.

Awesome. This comment reminds me of the 80's movie Runaway (directed by Michael Crichton).

[1] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088024/?ref_=nv_sr_4

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Values_(The_Outer_Limi... But is role of the family dog so bad after all?

I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

I had to check the date to make sure this wasn't the 1st of April after watching that video.

I think you just wrote an episode of Tim & Eric's Bedtime Stories.

This reminded me of one of my fav film Blinky(Bad robot)...

This is the first time I've laughed reading HN. :)

Funny, but please consider posting this to a blog and sharing from there. You've effectively hijacked this entire thread with a creative writing exercise.

#HoT: The Horror of Things.


That was nicely written.

This made my day.

Buahahahaha - Brilliant! Thank you Siri!

beautiful :')

Your doctor might reward your overactive imagination with some adderall.

Someone has been watching too much science fiction, horror, mystery shows or reading such novels. Give me one example of real life event that has semblance to what you are talking about ....

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