What is Amazon Alexa? The Voice of Amazon Echo Explained.
Alexa is Amazon’s intelligent personal assistant made popular by the Amazon Echo and Amazon Dot. Originally inspired by the conversational system aboard the Starship Enterprise from popular science fiction TV series and movies Star Trek. Alexa is capable of performing a wide variety of tasks controlled by the sound of your voice, such as streaming music from Spotify, controlling your smart-home devices, looking up the weather, ordering food, and making calls or emails. Alexa is designed to make you life easier by letting you voice-control your world. The more you talk to Alexa, the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences.
Some example commands:
“Alexa, play music”
“Alexa, re-order paper towels”
“Alexa, set a timer for 20 minutes”
“Alexa, find me a Chinese restaurant”
What people do with Alexa devices:
Voice control frees you from having to be tethered to your smart devices. It is particularly useful for smart-home users to control their thermostat, lights, and home security without having to launch an app. This can be an extremely convenient device for those looking to go hands-free, but if you are only looking for a home sound system then there are better options available.
No Compound Commands:
One of the biggest problems Alexa owners have is that it can only receive a single command at one time. For example “Alexa, turn off the bedroom lights and tell me the weather” will each need to be spoken in two separate commands.
Limited Wake Words:
Wake words alert the system that you are about to say a command, currently Alexa only recognizes: “Alexa,” “Amazon,” “Echo,” or “Computer.”
Products that have Alexa, find the right device for you:
No matter what device you choose all Alexa devices come with the same basic functionalities, an immersive sound experience, far-field voice recognition, and are Bluetooth and Wi-fi enabled.
Echo Dot – from $49.99
The Echo Dot is the most cost-effective of Amazon’s voice-controlled devices making it the perfect choice for those on a budget. Many people decide to purchase multiple Echo Dots and place them in rooms throughout their homes. 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).
Purchase 3 Echo Dots, save $20
Echo – from $179.99
Immersive Sound Experience
The Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker that fills any room with immersive 360 degree audio and is perfect for those that do not want multiple Alexa devices. It has the same capabilities of the Echo Dot but with a more immersive sound experience including a separate woofer and tweeter for deep bass and crisp high notes. Like the Dot it must be plugged in for use and is not a portable device.
If you are interested in a portable Alexa device the Amazon Tap is the best choice with a built-in battery that will last up to 9 hours with similar functionality to the Amazon Echo, starting at $129.99
Purchase 2 Echo Devices, save $100
Echo Look – from $199.99
For all the Fashionistas out there
Now Alexa can help you look your best. With the Echo Look you can easily take full-length photos and short videos hands-free. It includes built-in LED lighting, a depth-sensing camera, and computer vision-based background blur. You can see yourself from every angle and send a Style Check for a second opinion on what looks best. Style Check keeps your look on point using advanced algorithms and advice from fashion specialists to help you pick the outfit that looks best.
Echo Show – from $229.99
Best for Video Calls, Echo with an added Touch ~
The Echo Show brings you everything you love about Alexa on its 7-inch touchscreen display. Perfect for reading recipes, hands-free video calls, checking security cameras, and watching YouTube videos. Dual speakers deliver an immersive sound experience on par with Echo devices.
Purchase 2 Echo Shows, save $100