How many times a day do you pull out your phone to search the web for information you need, or to change the song you’re listening to on Spotify? There is so much we use the internet for now it’s become a necessity, and it’s really how we connect to the web that matters. The Amazon Echo is one way to connect to the internet, and I have to say it is one of the best ways. It not only changed how we connect to the internet, but also changed how we interact with our own homes.
So what is the Echo? Putting it simply the Echo is a hands free speaker you control with your voice. It uses a cloud based voice service called Alexa to play music, get you information from the internet you need, and much more. If you need to find a restaurant near your home just ask Alexa. If you need to know the score of a game ask Alexa.
The Echo also streams music upon request. For example you can play Prime Music, Pandora, Tunein, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Amazon Music on the Echo.
How does the Alexa hear what you are asking for? There are seven beam-forming noise cancelling microphones on the top of the unit with far-field voice recognition. These microphones are so good the Echo can hear your request across the room when playing music or having a loud conversation.
Not every person is the same, nor does every person communicate the same, which is why the Echo was developed to be adaptable. If you have an accent it should learn your accent over time, and can recognize you from other users in your home. It should learn each person’s preferences.
Alexa has many skills, and to activate a skill merely choose the skill in your Alexa app. Some examples of skills in the Alexa app are Domino’s pizza and Uber, but there are hundred more.
I could see this type of service expanding way beyond this. I can see down the line that all rooms in all homes will have both built in speakers and microphones connected to a similar voice control enabling everybody in the home to control their environment with their voice.