It is new Amazon’s product, voice-activated, cloud-connected wireless speaker, who talks back to you and acts as kind of a personal assistant. Amazon launched the Echo in November 2014. So what is the Amazon Echo? At the time, Echo was clearly a beta product. But by getting lots of people to buy it for $99, Amazon was able to test this “smart” speaker with thousands of consumers and improve the product over time, enhancing the voice recognition capabilities as well as adding features. The only catch is the $99 beta-tester price is no longer available. Its official price is $180 and while it’s certainly less attractive at that price, it’s also become a better product
Look and features
The Amazon Echo is an attractively designed speaker. The Echo looks like the tube in which the whiskey bottles are shipped. The bottom half of the tube is perforated with a canvas of holes, which let sound from the speaker driver inside pour out from the otherwise solid enclosure. At the top of the tube there’s a ring of lights that indicate what’s going on. When you activate the speaker it flashes white and blue. When it’s muted, the whole ring glows red. It doesn’t have a battery option, so it must be plugged in at all times
Physical controls are few, but available. On the top there is an action button that you’ll only ever use to set the device up in a new location. There is also a mute button so you can cut off the sound in a flash. The top half inch of the tube is actually a nearly invisible ring which you can twist to turn the volume up and down.
To use the Echo, you’ll need to download the companion app on your iOS or Android device or a computer of some sort. The App guides you through a painless three-minute setup procedure for connecting Echo to your Wi-Fi, and then it’s ready to respond to your commands.The speaker’s Wi-Fi setup is relatively straightforward, and you can also directly connect to the speaker via Bluetooth. Alexa is the voice behind Echo. For now she’s somewhat limited in her capabilities, though not without some nifty tricks up her sleeve. And she’s improving with age. I don’t think it’s the greatest sounding speaker in the world, but I really like the convenience of having Alexa respond to voice commands and do things like play music, read Audible books, give a weather forecast and set alarms for cooking and waking up. Alexa is also a source of entertainment and perhaps a teaching tool for children.
In conclusion, the Amazon Echo is a very intriguing device with a growing ecosystem of features and integration. However, it lacks some features and its capabilities are not full. Anyway, this device seems to grow on people over time as it continues to improve. It definitely has potential to become the gadget used by everyone for different tasks.