To everyone’s surprise, Amazon came out with a voice-controlled speaker that tells you what you want to hear
Seemingly out of nowhere, Amazon announced that it’s building a speaker that can be controlled with your voice. Called Echo, it acts like a personal assistant that’s similar to Siri or Google Now – just crammed into a speaker. By using seven microphones equipped with sensors that use beamforming technology, it listens for user requests, and can even understand you while it’s pounding out 360-degree audio to fill the entire room.
Standing 9 inches tall, Echo looks and serves just like any speaker would. But playing your favorite tunes from your cloud library isn’t the only thing it can do. Designed to make your life a little bit easier, Echo, which responds to “Alexa,” can tell you the weather and answer general questions with facts from Wikipedia. Of course Siri, Google Now, and Cortana can all accomplish these tasks on your smartphone, but Amazon believes there’s a place in your living room for something like this. Echo is always on and doesn’t require batteries, which is a giveaway that Amazon wants its most ambitious product to date in your home at all times.
Echo can play music from Amazon Prime Music, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn Plus, and because it’s Bluetooth compatible, making playback from Pandora, Spotify, and other audio apps is possible. Its own companion smartphone apps on Android and Fire OS are set to launch upon availability in the coming weeks, but everyone else, including iOS users, will have to access it via a web app. According to The Verge, a dedicated iOS app is in the works.
To see Echo in action, watch the video below.
For Amazon Prime members, Echo will cost $99 for a limited time, and $199 for the rest of us.
Story via The Verge.
Written for Electronic Products.