On Thursday morning I was immersed in a video conference, with the personable Josh MacFadyen, when I got a text message:
As Oliver was across the street, at home, and “five machine” sounds a lot like “fire machine,” which is something someone might say when the house is burning down and they are panicking, I immediately ran across the street to rescue Oliver.
Oliver was fine.
The buzzer on the clothes dryer had gone off, and Oliver was simply, helpfully, letting me know.
Here’s how the text message got to me:
Oliver was upstairs in bed.
The dryer’s buzzer went off.
Oliver has a Google Home in his bedroom, so he asked it to call me:
OK Google, call Peter.
The Google Home dutifully called my office number.
But my officer number automatically goes to voicemail, so Oliver left a voicemail (the one you can listen to above).
The voicemail went to my voicemail system, which is set to automatically speech-to-text transcribe voicemails and email them to me.
Which is how I got the text message “Five machine went off at home.”