Amazon Echo is the latest voice-activated smart home speaker to hit the market. The Echo paved its way to the electronic market in the year 2014. While being the only child that time, Amazon has since then added two new members to the family including the “Amazon Echo Show” and the “Echo Dot” respectively.
2017 is a new chapter in the books of Amazon, a company that initially started off as an online bookseller and now happens to be the world’s largest online retailer. Amazon has continued on its goal of expanding its line-up with hands-free, voice-enabled electronic devices and speakers.
So how is the Amazon Echo different from other speakers in the market?
Everyone knows the concept of Bluetooth speakers, but imagine a Bluetooth and wi-fi speaker that comes with a voice-controlled AI personal assistant inside called Alexa. Alexa happens to be the first AI personal assistant with a dedicated service. She will listen to all your commands, answer all your questions, plays music and helps control your smart home devices. Alexa can also help interact with various third-party apps on the playstore and personalize your shopping experience. Get going on your favorite deals with Amazon UK voucher codes.
What are the new design features on the Amazon Echo?
The new Amazon Echo weighs at 1.7 lbs and stands tall at 9.25 inches with a width of 3.27 inches. It isn’t much of a hassle in terms of space and can fit almost anywhere in your home be it your bookshelf, your nightstand or your living room table. The Echo unlike other speakers in the market doesn’t rely on just microphones inside your phones but instead uses a voice recognition technology that helps listen through every-day noises. The volume ring occupies the uppermost half-inch of the Echo which twists left and right to control the volume of the speaker. This can also be controlled via an optional remote control or voice command.
The Echo also features two main buttons on top of the speaker which comes with a multipurpose action button and a microphone turning off option. The Echo also has seven dedicated microphones of which six are placed at equal intervals around the top of the speaker and one in the middle which will enable it to hear you from every possible direction. Also featuring is a translucent panel lining the perimeter of the speaker that lights up while it is in play. This cluster of lights also lights up when the microphone picks on the user’s voice. Echo users have an option of purchasing the microphone-equipped remote. This can come handy in controlling volume and playback on the music you are listening to with the Echo Companion app.
How do use the device?
Once you plug in the device, Alexa wakes up from her slumber to greet you and talks you through the whole setup process. You then connect the speakers’ wi-fi network on your phone or tablet and then sync things back with your home network within the Alexa app. The entire process shouldn’t take more than a minute. The inbuilt speaker realizes your voice and you only need tell your command. The Echo will then help with your request and it does feel like a good listener due to the seven noise-canceling microphones that come with the device.
What all can it do?
Amazon recently unveiled a host of new features on the new Amazon Echo that includes:
• Connecting with other Alexa users via messages and calls.
• New upgraded software tools that allow Alexa to control Amazon Fire TV setups.
• Streaming music and podcasts from a host of sites like Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora, iHeart Radio and Spotify.
• Playing news briefings from various sources as per the user’s liking.
• Controlling smart home gadgets like thermostats, lights, and locks.
• Managing your daily to-do list.
• Setting timers and alarms.
Can the Amazon Echo speak the queen’s tongue?
The Echo is made available in the US, UK, and Germany and one of the major challenges that Alexa faced was understanding the different contexts of different languages and their meanings. For example, sports fan in the US while asking for Reds would probably mean the Red Sox but Alexa, the virtual personal assistant knows that here in the UK, the reds could only mean Liverpool. Since its official launch, the Echo has only grown smarter. Most of this can be credited to the Echo’s apps. Whenever you enable an app, you are indirectly giving Alexa a new lesson. The new software development kit developed by Amazon is also proving useful in this endeavor by crafting Echo’s skill.
The Amazon Echo has come a long way from its initial days as just another Bluetooth speaker. Echo has a great potential and its AI can definitely turn up the heat on the existing competition with its user-friendly interface. It might take a little time to become the next Jarvis from the Iron Man franchise but it surely seems to be going in the right direction.