Amazon surprisingly introduced a new electronic product called Amazon Echo. The company describes it as an “expertly-tuned speaker” that can stream music, shop, make lists, tell the news and many more.
What is it?
Amazon Echo is an interactive smart speaker, which consumers can control using their voice. They can ask it to search for information online, the latest news, weather forecast or the exact time. In addition, it can make shopping or to-do-lists and, of course, play music requested by the user.
The device is always connected and it always listens. However, in order users to wake Amazon Echo, they need to use the word “Alexa” before they give it a command. According to Amazon, the device can hear you no matter your or its position in the room, thanks to its Far-Field Voice Recognition technology. Also, it can even hear commands when it is playing music.
How does it work?
Amazon Echo’s “brain” is in the cloud. The device uses Amazon’s cloud service and the web to find and store information. That allows it to adapt to the user’s personal preferences, vocabulary and even speech patterns. Therefore, the more it is used, the better it will get.
Consumers can also connect their tablet or smartphone to Amazon Echo via Bluetooth and stream their favourite songs from their mobile gadget or from their Prime Music, iTunes, Spotify, Pandora or other music streaming accounts.
The retailer has also put some serious power into Amazon Echo, in attempt to offer consumers great audio quality. The device is equipped wit dual downward-firing speakers that product 360-degree omni-directional audio, which can fill any room.
Amazon will also launch Amazon Echo app for Fire OS, Android and iOS mobile devices, as well as for desktop computers. Through the application, users will be able to control the speaker even when they are not at home.
How much does it cost?
The regular price of the device is $199, but Prime member will have the chance to get it for just $99 for a limited time. Amazon still has not made the gadget available for purchase. Instead, consumers can request an invitation to buy the device. The retailer explains that it will send out the invites in the following weeks.
Amazon Echo is part of Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos’ efforts to diversify the company’s product lineup. This year, the retailer released its first Fire Phone, Fire TV Stick and series of Kindle e-readers and Kindle Fire tablets.