Heard of “Doppler”? Catchy name, isn't it?
After public unveiling in September 2016, it's now called Amazon Echo, and is one of the most well known smart assistant devices worldwide.
Designed and developed by Amazon.com, Amazon Echo (also known as Echo or Alexa), can do anything and everything from arranging lists, making timetables, forecasting weather and traffic, playing music and streaming podcasts, and even surfing the net to spew out the required information.
Responding to a wake word, Echo is programmed to awake to the word “Alexa”, but this can be reprogrammed to “Amazon” or “Echo”, if the user wishes.
How it Works
Essentially, Echo is much like an electronic being with ears, constantly hearing. All speech is transmitted through the microphones, but the device is programmed to respond only upon hearing it's assigned wake word.
Once the wake word has been registered, Amazon Echo (or Alexa) begins recording your speech, and once you've given your command, sends this recorded text over to the Amazon cloud.
Think of the Amazon cloud as a sea of internet. Now, taking an example of having asked Alexa about the traffic record in your city, your speech is converted to text, so that it can be sent to travel around the internet and come back with the most relevant results.
Amazon cloud transfers these results back to Alexa, who now uses her ability to convert text to speech, to converse this information over to you.
Alexa’s ability to talk is no magic power, but simply the beauty of technology, a chip called “Alexa Voice Service” or AVS. Put together with the “Echo Text to Speech Engine”, the response is not only accurate, but absolutely human like.
Alexa, What Can You Do?
Since the debut in 2015, Alexa has been constantly updated, adding phenomenal new features each time.
- Streaming- Stream music, podcasts and radios. Stream music from Amazon's very own music collection, stream from Spotify, or even Pandora and iHeart Radio. How, you ask? Just tell Alexa what you want to listen to, she'll take care of the rest.
- Timetables and Reminders- Yes, Alexa can make sure you never miss that dentist's appointment and you always wish your friend on their birthday. All you have to do, is ask Alexa what your calendar has in store for you, and you're good to go. Oh, did I mention? She can take care of your shopping lists to.
- Internet Surfing- Solving a crossword and you just can't seem to remember the first President's name? Just ask Alexa. She surfs the worldwide web in seconds and comes back to you with just the right answer.
- Weather and Traffic Forecasting- Programmed to AccuWeather, along with other news channels, Alexa makes sure you know exactly when you need to carry an umbrella, and exactly when you should take the shorter road.
- Sports updates and Movie Reminders- Wondering what the theatres are showing, or what the score on that unmissable match is? Ask Alexa and she'll keep you updated.
Still not impressed? Prepared to be.
Apart from these, Alexa has now been integrated with a certain set of features named “Skill Sets”, and they are a revelation. Each skill set refers to a certain application, which is in built or connected to the Amazon Echo, to provide revolutionary services.
Alexa’s Skill Sets:
- Smart Home Skills- monitor your house. Switch off the lights, close the doors, make sure your sprinklers are off and control the thermostat with Echo.
- Order a Cab- you're late for work and Alexa has just told you there's a huge traffic. You need a cab stat, and you don't have the time to search for one. No worries, Alexa gets you an Uber in no time.
- For the Chef in You- tell Alexa what you wish to cook for dinner, and she'll be ready with the recipe. That's not all, she can also help you make the perfect cocktail for your party.
- Order a Pizza- or you don't want to cook. All you want is some good old Domino's. Yes, Alexa helps you order a pizza too.
- Boredom Buddy- have some free time? Want to play a game? Ask Alexa to “Enable Jeopardy” and begin playing her very own trivia game. Beware, it's tough to beat her.
- For the Bookworms- Alexa revives the fond memories of bedtime stories by reading your favorite audio books to you. Programmed to Kindle and Audible, Alexa can be your very own audio library.
As if this isn't enough, Amazon has also hinted that future Alexa will be able to lock your cars, and teach your children the alphabet.
This article is just the tip of the iceberg, and Amazon Echo is a technological advancement bound to take the world by storm.
The speaker comes with a discount, takes up hardly any space, connects to your WiFi in an instance, and what's more, you get an electronic companion for life.
Go get your very own Amazon Echo system today.