Amazon has just made its 'Echo' home speaker system available to other countries outside of the U.S. This innovation which proved to be wildly popular in the U.S. is run by Alexa, Amazon's artificial intelligence (AI) assistant.
Alexa is what makes Amazon Echo a notch above all other speaker systems. Here are some of Echo's features:
- Be part of Harry Potter's Wizardry World: a user can interact with Alexa regarding Harry Potter-related questions. The user can ask questions, in much the same way as Alexa can ask questions. A user can also "play" with Alexa with the Sorting Hat game and Harry Potter quiz.
- Identify songs and build playlists: Shazam, the world's first app that can "identify any music playing around you," is reinvented with Amazon Echo whereby a user can sing a tune, and Alexa can help out with identifying the title and artist of the lyrics. For example, a user may ask, "Alexa, play the song that goes, 'I was doing just fine before I met you'." Then Alexa will play, "Closer" by The Chainsmokers. A user can also build a playlist just by singing tunes, or saying out titles of the song. Alexa can also build a playlist depending on the user's mood. The user can just say "100 Greatest Feel-Good Classics," and Alexa will create a playlist to suit that need.
- Have a weather-and fashion-forecaster: A user can ask Alexa not just the weather forecast, but also clothing suggestions for the day. Alexa can suggest specifics such as bringing a scarf, coat, or umbrella.
- Have a time-keeper: Alexa can answer questions such as, "What is the time?" Along with this, a user can also ask Alexa to remember alarm times for waking up and cooking among other activities.
- Get an Uber-caller: A user can also hail an Uber car through Alexa. Alexa can then give details to potential drivers, and price ranges of the ride.
- Build a shopping list: Alexa can make a list of items that needs to be purchased, may it be food, clothing, or gadgets. The user can simply say out loud items that should be purchased, then Alexa can forward the order to Amazon Prime where orders can be checked out, paid for, and delivered to the user's door-all without touching any screen or keyboard.
- Have a cooking assistant: A user in need of cooking help can also have Alexa assist, with Alexa dictating recipes that can fit with available ingredients. This is particularly helpful especially with many users reading recipes from their gadgets.
These are just some of the many possibilities with Amazon Echo. As one recent purchaser says, "Amazon Echo has been a long-awaited treat for myself... Now that its' arrived, what can I say, it's completely lived up to the hype."
Amazon Echo is available for $185 in black and white color options.