Amazon echo, is very well known among adults to even children. But for those who are kind of clueless about the product or for those who have certain queries about it, here is a simple article mentioning the key points about the famous Amazon Echo.
What is Amazon Echo?
Amazon Echo, is commonly known as just Echo. It is basically a brand of speakers developed by Amazon. It can be referred to as “Smart Speakers” due to its amazing features.
Another interesting term that you would have come across is Alexa. Well, these devices are in fact connected to this Amazon’s voice assistant – Alexa.
In order to follow your orders/ commands, the devices normally respond to any of the following words – “Alexa”, “Echo”, “Amazon”, or even “Computer”. Also, the device requires a wireless internet connection for it to work.
More Insight –
The release date of the first generation Amazon Echo was on November 6th, 2014; after which it was available for only Amazon Prime members (or through invitations). Later by 23rd of June, 2015, the devices were available to all in US. It was a 9.25 inch or 23.5 cm tall cylinder speaker with 7 piece microphone array.
Echo’s second generation was released on 31st of October, 2017. It was similar to first edition but with new updates and it was known as the limited edition.
As of yet these devices are available in 36 countries. Amazon Echo costs about $99.99 and you can purchase it on Amazon by clicking here.
Echo Variants –
Echo is available in various colors as well as variants.
Few of the variants are – First Generation, Second Generation, Echo Dot (hockey-puck-sized), Amazon Tap (smaller portable variant), Echo Look, Echo Show, Echo Spot, and Echo Plus.
The second generation Amazon Echo were joined with the announcement of few accessories –
Echo Buttons – Useful while playing a game via an Echo device.
Echo Connect – Useful to make phone calls via your home number. It’s a small adapter which can be plugged into any Echo device and a home phone line.
How to Set up your Echo device?
- Connect your Echo’s power supply.
- Install the Amazon Alexa app on your phone.
- Connect your phone or tablet to your Echo’s Wi-Fi network.
- Switch to the app and choose Set up a new device.
- If prompted, enter your Amazon username and password.
- Select your Wi-Fi network and enter its password.
- The Alexa assistant is ready to use.
Note: if you have more than one Echo device, each has to be set up individually.
By default, the wake word is Alexa, but you can change this to Amazon, Echo or Computer by going into the settings in the Alexa app. Unfortunately, you can’t choose your own wake word.
To start, try saying “Alexa, what’s the time?” and she should respond with the current time.
One word of advice: if you have any smart gadgets you want to control, such as lights or a thermostat, use the shortest name possible for it. For example, even when paired with the Nest thermostat, you can’t just say “Alexa, set the heating to 20 degrees“.
Instead, you need to say “Alexa, set the [name of thermostat] to 20 degrees” or “Alexa, make the [name of thermostat] warmer”. Longer names or names with multiple words increase the chance of her mis-hearing and failing to do what you asked.
Also, if you want to use a skill, you may need to use its name in your command. For example, saying “Alexa, find my keys” won’t work. You need to say “Alexa, ask Tile to find [name of Tile]”.
What can your Echo do?
There are various things that can be done with your Amazon Echo, such as –
- It can offer you weather report via AccuWeather.
- You can ask Echo to click a picture for you or even ask its opinion such as how you look.
- It can provide news from certain local radio stations like BBC, ESPN, iHeartRadio, etc.
- Echo can play songs from Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora, Apple Music, Google Play Music, etc.
- It can maintain alarms, reminders, timers, to-do lists, etc.
- It can play Audible audio-books and answer most of your questions from Wikipedia.
- You can also control smart home devices including garage doors, thermostats, sprinklers, etc.
- It allows you to call or message anyone with just your voice commands.
- It provides 360 degree omni-directional audio, thus filling up an entire room.
- Echo has Dolby processing for crystal clear voice input and it also provides noise cancellation, hence making it hear your commands even while the music is ON.
- You could also order a pizza, book an Uber, etc.
Alexa is getting smarter by the day since many exciting new skills or features are being added frequently. These are comprised in the Alexa Skill kit. It is a collection of self-service APIs, tools, documentation and code samples that make it fast and easy for any developer to add skills to Alexa.
Warranty details – 1-year limited warranty and service included. Optional 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year extended warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately. Use of Echo is subject to the terms found here.
- Echo has no internal battery, thus it need to be plugged-in.
- Purchase of jewellery, shoes, etc. through Amazon Fresh / Amazon Prime Pantry / Prime Now cannot be done.
- The shopping list can contain just a single item at a time.
- Much like any other smart device, Echo has few confusions with the understanding of meaning or pronunciation of certain words.
The world is truly evolving with such amazing technology so make the most out of this amazing smart device – Amazon Echo.