Voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa have been baked into a lot of questionable gadgets that don’t really need to be controlled through voice commands. But one device where hands-free operation makes a bit more sense is a digital piano where a user’s hands are preoccupied making music, so Roland’s adding Alexa to its new Go:Piano, letting performers change sounds and settings by just asking the virtual assistant to.
Details about pricing and availability for the Go:Piano aren’t available just yet, but in addition to making all of the keyboard’s functionality accessible through voice commands, Alexa, and a requisite wifi connection, also gives the Go access to cloud-based sharing features. That includes access to a robust library of play-along songs that help budding musicians refine their skills, and the ability to share a performance with other Roland keyboards. Living thousands of miles away is no longer a viable excuse for missing your grandkid’s agonizing piano recital.
Will adding Alexa support eliminate the challenges of playing a digital piano where sounds and settings are often tweaked as part of a live performance? It would certainly let musicians keep their fingers on the keys at all times, but interrupting a song with a voice command could potentially be even more disruptive for an audience than quickly tapping a couple of buttons. So maybe we’ll chalk this new feature up to being something useful for aspiring pianists who are honing their craft, but something they’d want to turn off when they hit the stage.