The three major OS on smartphones these days, namely Windows, iOS and Android each have their own personal assistant, namely Cortana, Siri and Google Now respectively and personal assistants are indeed quite useful. They let you perform tasks on your smartphone by simply saying a keyword that activates the assistant and you can then just speak out the task you want the personal assistant to perform. For Google Now, the keyword is OK Google.
Wondering why did we just give you a brief introduction to the concept of personal assistants? Because this article is also about a personal assistant but this one is a totally new concept. Meet Amazon’s Echo, a $199 bluetooth speaker that comes with its own personal assistant. Yes you heard it right, a bluetooth speaker with a personal assistant.
Like all personal assistants, this one too does the basic tasks of taking questions and orders from you and performing them. The speaker, which is 9.25″ tall and 3.27″ in diameter has seven microphones on the top which ensure it can take instructions from any direction. The microphones can also filter out background noise which means you can even give instructions to the Echo while music is being played in the background and they will be followed effectively. The instructions are followed via Amazon’s web servers which means that the personal assistant in Echo will get better and more effective with time.
The speaker is no less. The round speaker is very effective and delivers quality sound output offering bluetooth connectivity option and it also allows you to stream music from Amazon Music Library, Prime Music, TuneIn and iHeartRadio.
Along with the speaker unit, Amazon is gifting you a dedicated app for the Echo which runs on Android and FireOS smartphones which will allow you to control the Echo directly from your smartphone and perform various other functions like setting up alarms, checking reminders and shopping lists and much more. Don’t want the app on your smartphone? Dont worry as Amazon also offers you the app for Safari to use on your Mac devices.
Here is the video of the Echo that Amazon uploaded on their YouTube channel. Have a look at what Amazon has to show about their latest offering.
The device costs $199 on Amazon and prime members can get it at a discount of $100 and finally at just $99. You however will need an invite in order to buy the device. You can request an invite here.