The Amazon Echo is the latest device from Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) to offer intriguing interactions in the IoT world.
It is the company’s latest device after the Amazon Kindle. At first glance, one might dismiss it as just a mere well-designed cylindrical speaker but there is more to that than meets the eye when it comes to this device. Yes, it can perform the functions of a regular speaker but even more interesting is its ability to link to the internet and access a wide library of information. Even more interesting, users can interact with it by asking questions and receiving answers. Well, not all the time. The point is it is a device fitted with intelligent features that allow it to respond to verbal commands.
The Echo can also perform other tasks like playing music, audio books or even read you the latest news briefs from various sources. It works a lot like Apple’s Siri. The device is not limited to those items. Users can issue out audio commands, and it will respond accordingly as long as it can gain access to the requested information over the internet.
Since the Echo is an IoT device, it can be linked to some smart or automated devices such as Philips Hue light bulbs to control them via a simple command. The device also has a companion app that synchronizes to the user’s phone. Therefore it can interact with the app to make changes to things like the user’s schedule or a shopping list and a few other things.
Since it responds to audio commands, one might wonder whether it is always listening in on people’s conversation. That is not the case. To activate the listening ability, the echo responds to the name “Alexa.” Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) did not name the device ‘Alexa’ because it is the name of the software used in the Echo.
The device is easy to set up. All one requires is a WIFI connection and the Companion application and you are good to go. It is highly receptive; therefore users do not need to be so close to the device for it to hear the audio command. The Echo is will retail at $180.