What is Echo?
- Wireless speaker with a voice controlled personal assistant built in
- “Amazon has named the smart speaker Alexa. Alexa is named after the library of Alexandria, which stored the knowledge of the ancient world
- Similar to Google Now and Apple’s Siri
- Always-on, always-listening (downside: has woken people up in sleep)à quick way to provide answers
What are the Echo’s properties?
- Standard Bluetooth speaker
- Ability to answer questions
- You just need begin commands or questions by saying “Alexa” to appropriately address the robot.
- Wi-Fi network connected device
- Music comes through shallow, tiny and compressed
- Once music starts to play, Alexa cannot hear your commands
- Rated 7 out of 10 on The Verge
- Black cylinder
- Size of tennis-ball
- Blue-green light flashes around top of canister
- Volume ring on top of device
What else can Echo do?
- Play music and podcasts on demand
- Order products from Amazon with just a voice command
- Report the time
- Report the weather
- Set timers and alarms
- Calculate measurements
- “How many tablespoons are in a cup”
- Add items to your shopping list
- “Alexa, add chicken broth to my shopping list”
What if Alexa can’t answer your question?
- A query is made in the Echo App and with one tap becomes a Bing search
- Stores a running history of all your questions
- Helpful tips on how to talk to Alexa
- Announced Echo technology Novemeber 2014
- Needed an invite to purchase prior to today
- Now Amazon is opening up the purchase of Echo to anyone with shipments beginning July 14th
Price = $179.99
New features since launch
- Hub for a smart home
- Turning on various lights and appliances
- Belkin’s WeMo + Philips’ Hue connected home systems
- Improved speech recognition and accuracy
- Info can be stored on third party services with IFTTT integretaion (if this then that)
- links with Gmail, Twitter and Evernote
Amazon plans on providing additional applications for the Echo that will make it the leader in smart home technology.