In my mostly professional opinion, the Google Home and more specifically, the Google Home Mini, will be the biggest last-minute gifts this year. Don’t know what to buy a person with little to no interests? No problem, get ‘em A Technology! Everyone loves a good technology these days.
Since lots of folks will probably be getting the $29 Google Home Mini for their parents, they should know the device can be used for much more than playing music and checking the weather. In fact, the Google Home’s best feature is how easily it can be used for evil — sort of.
In November, Google rolled out an update that allows Google Assistants to communicate to each other in any given setting. Basically, Google Homes (and Minis) can “broadcast messages” to each other. So if a user says, “Hey Google, broadcast a message,” you can tell the Assistant what to tell the other Google Homes in your house/office/Bond Villain Lair. The Assistant on the receiving end will then play that message aloud.
Here’s where the mischief comes in: Many wholesome parents, who are so wonderfully naïve, don’t understand the “broadcast message” feature. So let’s say your parents have two Google Assistants in two different areas of the house. You can tell one Google Home to tell another virtually anything. From personal experience, I can tell you that your parents will pretty much flip out no matter what you tell it to say.
Just take it from my mom, who was unfortunately the victim of my mischief over Thanksgiving:
I later found out that the first time my mom used a computer, she “deleted a Jeopardy game” and has been “nervous around computers” ever since. Clearly, this experience tapped into some deeply repressed memories, and for that, I almost feel sorry.
But the good news is that while Christmas comes and goes, now, the memories of the holiday season can last forever! Why not make this year’s holiday the most memorable one yet — by using technology to scare the shit out of your family and friends?