Artificial intelligence has seen a rapid shift in the recent time. It has swiftly become a part of our lives. Voice assistants like Siri or Google assistant are catching the eye of more and more people. Everything is going digital and customization according to one needs, has become the need of the hour. From smartphones to smart TV, consumers are getting more connected and want everything to be controlled with just a push or a command.
Amazon’s Alexa Echo and Dot are just another step towards a more custom digitization of our lives. Technology is making our live efficient. Devices like Amazon Echo and Dot are enhancing the user experience towards making live more smarter than ever before.
Amazon Echo and Dot with it’s Alexa operating system has been a quite successful product and is said to sold more than 3 million products worldwide.
How is it different from a smartphone assistant?
Well, smartphone is something that is making our lives easier, Amazon Echo and Dot are making our homes smarter. While we do have voice assistants in our smartphones but currently, Amazon Echo and Dot is the smartest of all.
Smartphones need apps for everything and if you need a specific service, you first need to download the app. Amazon Alexa Echo and Dot are not dependable on downloading the apps for it’s services. The services provided by Amazon Echo are directly integrated by the APIs created by companies that makes it a powerful device.
Amazon Echo and similar home assistant devices are the future. For sure they are going to make our lives much more integrated and smarter. From music to making calls, from latest news and weather reports and controlling all your smart home devices, Amazon Echo is going to bring a shift in lifestyles.
All About Amazon Echo And Dot (Features and Review):
What is Amazon Alexa Echo and Dot?
If we need to define this device in one line, it would be – Voice controlled hands free speaker and personal assistant.
It is a cloud based voice service that allows you to play music, make calls, control your smart home devices, book a cab for you, set your alarms, manage your shopping list, just to name a few activities that can be done. More and more companies are creating APIs for Alexa, which is making it more powerful every passing day.
Companies like Zomato have integrated in Alexa, so now you can order food with just a voice command. Ola too created an API for Alexa and now you can book a cab but just speaking a line to Amazon Echo. Isn’t this cool?
What all models are available for Alexa ?
As of now Amazon has launched 3 models for Alexa – Dot, Echo and Echo Plus. Here is a brief overview of how all the 3 models are different.
CALLING AND MESSAGING
STREAM WI -FI MUSIC
CONNECT SMART DEVICES
CONNECT EXTERNAL SPEAKERS
BASIC SMALL SIZE ALEXA
32 x 84 x 84 mm
SMART SPEAKER WITH GREAT SOUND
148 x 84 x 84 mm
2.5" woofer + 0.6" tweeter
ALEXA ECHO PLUS
BUILT-IN HOME HUB
235 x 84 x 84 mm
2.5" woofer + 0.8" tweeter
Design and Specifications:
Cylindrical in shape, Amazon Echo is 5.8 inches tall. With 821 gms in weight, it a portable device within home. On the top of the device, you can find physical buttons for Volume control, action button for voice command and a button to mute microphone. Also, you can find 7 microphone arrays on the top for voice recognition
On the upper border is a light ring that glows and indicates the status of the echo and the body is covered with a removable fabric cover all around. The fabric can be changed according to the tone of your home and surroundings.
On the rear side of the Echo is a 3.5 mm audio output to link Echo with external speakers in case you need pretty loud sound. Along side this, there is a slot to connect Echo to power source.
Amazon Echo Features:
The features of Amazon’s Alexa Echo can be primarily divided into two main categories
Products – Alexa Echo can control numerous smart devices/products including smart lights from Philips , thermostats, power outlets, door locks, camera, TV and Audio/Home theater (the list is long and growing)
Services – Alexa can manage many service requests ranging from booking a cab, to telling stories to children, to managing your calendar and shopping/grocery list. It uses the APIs built by companies, which Alexa call as skills. The skills are increasing by each passing day make it more smarter and powerful.
The more you use Echo, the smarter it becomes. It adapts to your voice patterns and keep increasing it vocabulary, which make it more efficient.
Control the music:
You can voice control the music with Alexa Echo. Just speak to Alexa and ask for the latest music, for specific song or song from a specific singer and it will play for you in no time.
Generic requests like – “Alexa, Play Weekly top 5”
Specific song request like – “Alexa, Play Despacito”
Specific artist request like – “Alexa, Play songs of Arijit Singh”
Control Volume – “Alexa, lower the volume”
Calling and Messaging:
With Alexa Echo, you can make calls and drop messages to anyone who has the Amazon echo or Alexa app installed with them. You can use the “drop-in” in Alexa app and connect free with other echo devices within home or nearby friends. Messaging and Calling via Amazon Echo is free of cost in India. So, while you are caught up in some important work, just send a voice command to Alexa and it will do the work for you.
Messaging requests like – “Alexa, Send a message to Dad, I will reach there in 10 mins”
Calling requests like – “Alexa, Call mummy ji”
Control Smart Devices:
Now you can control smart devices that are connected with Alexa through voice commands. Imagine watching your favorite movie and you need to leave your comfortable spot for switching off the lights or controlling your fan speed. Well, with Alexa, you just need to request all this through voice commands and consider it done. From turning off the lights to turning on the coffee machine, it work wonders.
Requests like – “Alexa, switch off the lights”
Requests like – “Alexa, set drawing room lights to yellow”
Specific Request like – “Alexa, switch off the AC and set the temperature to 25 degrees”
Use Alexa Skills:
Alexa has thousand of skills out the box. You can utilize the capabilities of the skills and make your lives easier. From ordering food, to booking a cab, there are numerous tasks that can be done by just a voice command. If you are not aware of all the available skills, you can directly ask Alexa about the it’s tops skills and Alexa will tell you about it.
Requests like – “Alexa, book a cab for Juhu in 10 mins”
Specific Requests like – “Alexa, what are the best Italian restaurants in Zomato within 5 kms”
Requests like – “Alexa, Ask Byju’s for Maths Quiz”
Is Alexa Echo useful for Indian consumers?
Technology and innovation won’t wait for you. With so many innovations happening every passing day, that now consumers need to keep a pace with the latest gadgets and technology. Amazon Alexa Echo is a device of the future. With the advances in the technology, everything is getting more connected. Consumers are aware than ever before and need customization, specific to their needs.
Everything is a touch away. Click on a app and voila! You just ordered food. Two clicks and a cab is at your doorsteps. What’s next? Alexa Echo is just another step in the future, where you can literally interact with the physical and virtual world through voice commands. Artificial intelligence rapidly learns and customizes according to his master.
It is literally your digital assistant. While in India, not many homes have smart devices that can be connected with Alexa but there are numerous other tasks that can be done with it. Also, if you are planning to renovate your home, you have a good reason to switch to smart lights and other smart gadgets which could be controlled by Alexa.
You can always utilize the calling and messaging feature, which is free of cost and hands free as well. Music is just an command away. You don’t need to log in to your smartphone and search for music options to listen to music.
It keeps learning and tailor the stuff to your needs.
You can place online orders and track them. Once you have placed the order in the past, Alexa keeps a track of your likes and dislikes and the next time you only need to say – “Alexa, reorder the dog food”.
You can ask general questions about the weather, places to visit near by, or best restaurant in your city or what all movies are playing by in the theater near you.
Every company wants a a piece of the cake and want to sail in the same ship that leads to future. Companies are making APIs to enhance the skills of Alexa. A large chunk of people have already started using the Alexa in their homes and if they can order food via Zomato now, then surely others would be joining soon to this league. And who is at the benefit? Definitely the end consumers. This is going to bring more power and more tailored stuff to the consumers.
In Short – YES, Amazon Echo is useful in India as well. You need to be there to experience the future.