The Amazon Echo, also known as Alexa, is a voice command device from Amazon.com that is always listening. The device consists of a tall cylinder speaker with a seven-piece microphone array, speakers that include a woofer/tweeter and a remote control. The speaker’s Wi-Fi setup is relatively straightforward, and you can also directly connect to the speaker via Bluetooth. The functions include question answering, playing music and controlling smart devices.
The Echo responds to the name “Alexa”, however this “wake word” can be changed by the user. This voice-activated, cloud-connected wireless speaker, who talks back to you and acts as kind of a personal assistant. The volume ring on the top of the speaker lights up when you say “Alexa,” letting you know she is ready to accept your command. You can also control the volume with your voice by saying “Alexa turn the volume up.” or “Alexa volume 5”. You can pause, stop, skip, and start music with your voice and it works really well.
Amazon continues to update the Echo and adding features to it frequently. Recently they’ve e added traffic reports, sports scores, Pandora, IFTT, voice control over the smart lights and appliances in your home. Alexa has the ability to start and stop timers and alarms. Just say “Alexa set an alarm for 8 am”, or “Alexa set a timer for 15 minutes”. From weather forecasts and present temperature, timers for baking and napping, Alexa does it all. Say it and she will do it!
The Amazon Echo is available at Amazon. The cost is $179.99 with free shipping for Prime Members or 5 monthly payments of $36.00