As technology has been getting better and better over the last few years, a big thing that's been on a lot of people's minds is the idea of home automation. For people who grew up on cartoons like The Jetsons or shows like Star Trek, we were promised that the future would have our chores being done by machines, leaving us WAY more free time to enjoy ourselves.
Unfortunately, we haven't quite hit that point yet: there are no robot butlers, we don't have flying cars, and while smartphones are pretty great, there's plenty that they can't do on their own. Thankfully, companies like Amazon and Google are starting to get into the home automation market, with products that are basically computers you can control with your voice.
The idea is that using a product like the Amazon Echo or the Google Home, you can simply have the device order essentials that you need for your family, control the lights in the house, set reminders for everybody, and all sorts of things to make your life easier. Of course, this technology is still fairly new, and we're still not completely sure about weird moments that might get in the way of them working properly.
Case and point: we're pretty sure this man didn't expect their Echo to throw a party while they were out of town, like a rebellious teenager...
The neighbors of Oliver Haberstroh, a resident of Hamburg, Germany, got a bit of a rude awakening when the man's apartment started blaring loud music at 2 AM. After knocking on the door and screaming for several minutes, they called the police, who proceeded to break down the door and discover that not only was Haberstroh not in his apartment, but the culprit appeared to be his Amazon Echo device!
“While I was relaxed and enjoying a beer, Alexa [ed. note: Echo's AI] managed on her own, without command and without me using my mobile phone, to switch on at full volume and have her own party in my apartment,” he wrote on Facebook.
“She decided to have it at a very inconvenient time, between 1.50am and 3.00am. My neighbours called the police.”
Haberstroh arrived home to find a new lock on his door, along with a note to head to the local police station to collect his new keys and pay a rather hefty locksmith bill. Amazon support has offered to cover the cost of his bill, but has also insisted that Alexa didn't malfunction but was "remotely activated”.
Would you buy a home-automation device like the Echo?