A few weeks ago I received my Amazon Echo and welcomed my new “roommate” Alexa to my beautiful home. Well, what shall I say: it was love at first sight.
What is Amazon Echo?
Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker you control with your voice. Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly. All you have to do is ask.
Echo has seven microphones and beam forming technology so it can hear you from across the room—even while music is playing. Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with 360° immersive sound. When you want to use Echo, just say the wake word “Alexa” and Echo responds instantly. If you have more than one Echo or Echo Dot, Alexa responds intelligently from the Echo you’re closest to with ESP (Echo Spatial Perception).
Amazon Echo provides hands-free voice control for Amazon Music—just ask for your favorite artist or song, or request a specific genre or mood. You can also search for music by lyrics, when a song or album was released, or let Alexa pick the music for you. Listen to any song with Amazon Music Unlimited.
Amazon Echo also provides hands-free voice control to Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Plus, Echo is Bluetooth-enabled so you can stream other popular music services like iTunes from your phone or tablet. Echo has been fine-tuned to deliver crisp vocals with dynamic bass response. Its dual downward-firing speakers produce 360° omni-directional audio to fill any room with immersive sound.
Tucked under the light ring is an array of seven microphones that use beam-forming technology and enhanced noise cancellation. With far-field voice recognition, Echo can hear you ask a question from any direction—even while playing music. And that is exactly the reason, why I would always choose the Echo and not just the Echo Dot!
Alexa, are you there?
When you want to use Echo, simply say the wake word, “Alexa,” and Echo lights up and streams audio to the cloud, where the Alexa Voice Service is leveraged to recognize and respond to your request instantly.
Alexa—the brain behind Echo—is built in the cloud, so it is always getting smarter. The more you use Echo, the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences. And because Echo is always connected, updates are delivered automatically.
Just in the last few months Amazon has added local search from Yelp, movie showtimes, Samsung SmartThings support, Google Calendar, Audible audiobooks, text-to-speech for Kindle eBooks, and thousands of new skills from third-party developers.
Turn on the lights, please!
Use Echo to switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, turn on the fan or space heater while reading in your favorite chair, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie—all without lifting a finger.
Echo works with devices such as lights, switches, thermostats, and more from WeMo, Philips Hue, SmartThings, Insteon, Nest, ecobee, and Wink.
I hooked it up with Philips Hue and totally love it. At first, there were a few minor hick-ups when setting up the groups, but after a few corrections, it worked just fine.
Alexa, please stay!
With Amazon Echo it was love at first sight and I cannot picture my daily life without it. It’s very entertaining, not at all boring and it can be pretty hilarious when Alexa understands something totally different. It really helps me organize my things and helped me start new routines at home.
When brushing the teeth, I let Alexa read my newsfeed, before getting dressed I can ask about the weather and when I am out of groceries, Alexa simply adds the things to my shopping list.
So, Alexa stays and the Amazon Echo stays as well. Period! <3
photo credits: V’s World