Len Klie

I’ll Be Talking to My Christmas Tree Soon

I’m not usually one to push Christmas too early, and I resent the fact that stores are pushing their Christmas merchandise on me already before Halloween. I think there should at least be a little bit of a nip in the air before we start talking about Christmas, Santa, reindeer, sleds, and holiday magic.’

With that said, I was a little captivated when a basic search on PR Newswire for voice-related news surfaced the following headline:
“Hammacher Schlemmer Introduces 2017 Unique Christmas Trees.” I clicked on the link to see what that had to do with speech technologies. As it turns out, one of the new models has a voice interface, if you can believe it.

The Voice-Controlled Illuminated Christmas Tree is just one of many in what Hammacher Schlemmer, the catalog provider, calls a “unique assortment of novelty trees for those looking to spruce up their traditional holiday décor.”

This is a 7.5-foot-tall pre-lit Christmas tree that changes colors and lighting effects when you say so. Verbal commands, including “white fade,” “color change,” and “multi twinkle,” direct its eight lighting functions via a voice remote that has a range of 25 feet. The company also offers a two-foot wreath that can do the same things.
“At Hammacher Schlemmer, we realize not everyone is looking for a common Christmas tree,” the company’s general manager, Nick DiMarco, said in a statement. “That’s why we also carry one-of-a-kind trees with distinct features, including remote controls, voice activation, and fiber optics.”

I just hope no one else is listening when I curse into the remote as I try to identify which of the bulbs burned out so I can replace it.