Amazon's new Echo “smart” speaker is yet another hardware expansion from the e-commerce giant and a unique one at that. The idea focuses on a Siri-like personal assistant service that is integrated within an appealing Bluetooth speaker. By configuring a “wake word”, you can get the Echo's attention easily with only your voice.
Once active, Echo can do things like answer general knowledge questions, provide weather updates, play music, tell a joke, set reminders and function as an alarm clock. All the data input and output through the device is operated via the cloud, and new features or bug fixes will be uploaded wirelessly.
Amazon uploaded a nearly 4 minute advertisement that showcases new device and its features in real-life situations. So far we know there will be an iOS companion application (as shown in the video), and we assume there will be Android support yet this is still unconfirmed. I think it says a lot that Amazon chose to feature an iPhone in their advertisement instead of their poor-selling Fire Phone.
The Echo comes in at a rather high $199 price-point although they are discounting this to $99 for Prime members for a limited-time. No confirmed release date has been announced just yet, but you can apply now for an invitation to purchase an Echo within the coming weeks.
As a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and our Managing Editor, Colt loves testing out the newest tech products/services. His goal is to help better educate other consumers to ensure the most satisfying purchases decisions on consumer electronics and services. When he is not working on creating new content, Colt enjoys spending time with his two Australian Shepherds, Mia and Zoey.