The recently aired SNL episode might have been politically charged as usual, but the show also managed to attract the attention of many viewers over its mock ad for a very interesting Amazon product, the fictional Echo Silver. While the skit was obviously SNL‘s attempt to poke fun at the emerging smart speaker revolution, the features of the fictional device have actually managed to get the attention and approval of many tech fans across the United States.
The Amazon Echo Silver, as dubbed by the SNL skit, is a smart speaker specifically designed for the “greatest generation,” according to a TechCrunch report. Considering that the mock ad featured a fictional device designed for the elderly, the skit featured quite a lot of old people jokes. Behind the humor of the ad, however, lies a concept for a niche-targeted smart speaker that might actually work in real life.
One of the features of the Amazon Echo Silver was the fact that it could speak in a really loud voice so that grandparents could easily hear what the smart device is saying. Apart from this, it also has no problem repeating itself when its user is unable to properly hear what the speaker said the first time. These features obviously poke fun at the older generation, but as many tech fans have pointed out, the capabilities of the smart device actually make sense.
As seen on SNL: An Echo designed for the greatest generation that will answer to any name close to Alexa ???? pic.twitter.com/uqN1FRT7uP
— Amazon (@amazon) May 14, 2017
The features of the Amazon Echo Silver do not end there, however, as the device is also capable of responding to a wide range of voice commands. Unlike the original Echo, which only activates itself when it hears “Alexa,” the Amazon Echo Silver would answer to any name that is even remotely close to the actual target word. This means that the Echo Silver would answer to names such as Alaina, Allegra, Aretha, Alisha, Alfonzo, Aldis, Arashel, Excederin, and other, even more outlandish names, according to an Engadget report.
Just like the Echo Silver’s loud volume and its capability to repeat itself without any problem, the fictional device’s ability to respond to names outside its target phrases is actually a good idea for a smart device designed specifically for the elderly. Even the other punchline of the skit, which features the Amazon Echo Silver being equipped with an “Uh-uh feature,” which engages a user who is telling long, rambling stories, is not a bad feature at all.
SNL‘s Amazon Echo Silver definitely looks the part of a smart speaker that is designed for the elderly, too. It stands on a wooden base and fits right in with furniture commonly seen in houses of yesteryear. The mock ad even added a particularly funny detail, stating that the Echo Silver could only be ordered through money order or check, just like the good old days. Oh, and the price of the fictional device is pretty great too, as it could be acquired for three easy payments of $9.99.
— dogly ☘ (@00ths) May 14, 2017
The SNL Amazon Echo Silver skit is notably a joke poking fun at the smart device revolution and the quirks of the elderly. Inasmuch as the mock product was presented as a joke, however, its features actually make sense. Fitz Tepper of TechCrunch, for one, even stated that if the device actually turns out to be real in the near future, he would get one for his grandparents without a second thought.
Devices that are specifically designed for the older generation are actually gaining steam, with notable tech firms across the world looking into concepts that would cater to the more elderly demographic. Asus, for one, unveiled the Zenbo last year, a home robot that is designed as a companion for a wide demographic, including the elderly. Its ease of use, as well as its plethora of smart features, make it perfect for anyone who is not tech-savvy. Considering the internet’s reaction to the SNL skit, however, one thing seems sure. If Amazon does make a real Echo Silver in the near future, there is little doubt that the niche-targeted smart speaker would be a huge success.
[Featured Image by David Becker/Getty Images]