Amazon’s Echo is looking like it will completely change the way people interact within the smart home. Additionally, the Amazon Echo will have a name, too. Alexa will be the name, and a wake-up call for the device, too, when users are beginning to engage it.
The device stands 9.25-inches tall and will be the voice-activated. It will look like a tower and will use seven microphones at the top of the device to hear any requests that the user may have. The device will be capable of streaming music, setting alarms, picking out different movies or television shows, or even general inquiries. The promise is that the device will respond to those questions, as soon as it hears the key word “Alexa” the same way Siri and Google Now do.
The Amazon Echo will wake up when it hears the command, and Amazon promises that individuals will not have to move the device around the room to accommodate the sound. The device really could stand to be an impressive force to be reckoned within the smart home, too. Cloud-based music streaming will be supported, iHeartRadio for example, will function excellently from the device. The device will also give users weather reports, and be able to call up news information, as well.
However, the potential X-factor when it comes to this device is the fact that it won’t just function over Wi-Fi, but also over Bluetooth. Therefore, the device will be able to play music from your phone, or tablet – that will allow users to play music or stream entertainment from devices that aren’t necessarily integrated with the Echo.
The Echo will come with a remote as well, and the pricing will be relatively simple. And while the device is only available through an invitation right now, it’s expected to be released fully in the coming months. The starting price is $199 for non-prime members, but if you’re a member of Amazon Prime, that will mean a discounted price. For those customers, the device will cost just $99.
If this all goes as planned for Amazon, this could be one of the most impressive entrance into the smart home space that any tech company has made in recent months, or the last few years. This device looks promising, but it remains to be seen if it lives up to that promise.