Amazon Echo: An Intelligent Speaker That Listens To Your Commands

Amazon Echo: An Intelligent Speaker That Listens to Your Commands

Amazon Echo is a speaker that has a voice assistant built in. If you ask it a question its got an answer. If you tell it to do stuff, it complies. Well, this is different.

Echo is an always-on speaker that you plop into a corner of your house and turns it into the futuristic homes we've been dreaming about. It's like Jarvis, or the assistant computer from Her.

When you say the wake word "Alexa," it starts listening and you can ask it for information or to perform any of a number of tasks. For example, you can ask it for the weather, to play a particular style of music, or to add something to you calendar.

Of course voice assistants aren't an entirely new concept, but building the technology into a home appliance rather than into a a smartphone makes a lot of sense and gives the technology a more conversational and natural feel. To that end, its got what Amazon calls "far-field recognition" that allows you to talk to it from across the room. It eliminates the clumsiness of assistants like Siri and Google Now that you have to be right on top of.

Besides being an assistant, Echo is also a little Bluetooth speaker with 360-degree sound. It stands 9-inches tall, has a 2-inch tweeter and a 2.5-inch woofer.

If you're not near the speaker, you can also access it using an app for Android and Fire OS as well as through web browsers on iOS.

Right now, Echo is available by invitation only. According to Amazon, "invites will go out in the coming weeks." It costs $US200 for regular people and $US100 for people who have an Amazon Prime account. If the speaker sounds good, it's a steal given all of the extra functionality built in. This thing can't get in my kitchen soon enough. [Amazon]


Comments

    The ad kind of got creepy. "It can hear you everywhere." "It's always on." "It can hear everyone." I wonder if Amazon will use it go gather information about households (e.g. number of people in a house, males and females, time spent in the house, schedules). It's like Google but with a bug.

    Still awesome.

    looks pretty cool though!
    don't mind one, but cost a bit, i wonder if it is really asresponsive as it potrays?

      Yeah, it won't be. There'll always be a pause after what you say for processing. Even if there isn't, people will speak unnaturally and mix up their words because they'll end up dictating to the Echo, and the Echo will interpret the awkward pauses and ends of sentences. It'll probably end up being as slow as Siri.

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