What is Amazon Alexa?
Amazon Alexa has become the talk of the town recently. Like Siri from Apple, Alexa is the digital voice assistant that is marks a range of Amazon devices. As a virtual voice assistant, Alexa follows audio commands and offer a natural interaction with the customers. Alexa has an easy activation process of calling out its name and is instantaneously ready to obey one’s orders. Though Alexa is a defining feature of Amazon devices, it is now increasingly available to third-party devices that seek to benefit from its virtual voice control features.
What is Echo Dot? What does it do?
Echo Dot is a voice controlled device by Amazon that is equipped with Alexa to perform the same functions as its Parent, Amazon Echo. Simply put, Echo Dot is a smart speaker in the size of a hockey puck, which is able to interact with the user and provide a wide range of services like music playback, make a to-do list and provide real-time information, among others. Having the same features as Echo in a smarter size, connection to an external pair of speakers can enhance the volume of Echo Dot. At the same time, it acts as a smart replacement for the full- size Echo for use in quieter and smaller spaces.
As a smart speaker backed with Alexa, Echo Dot not only undertakes playback of music and streaming of podcasts but also controls other smart devices using the customer’s voice. Additionally, it has the ability to connect with external speakers over Bluetooth or through a wire cable to play music from a plethora of platforms. Its built-in speaker is perfect for a mobile voice assistant, which is easy to carry. Finally, it has the capability to undertake voice orders from distant places and even while carrying out some ongoing task. That’s not all, as a new technological innovation, it is updating itself on the go, with new features and skills adding feathers to its hat.
Amazon Echo- Hidden Features
Calling and Texting
All devices of Amazon Echo allow the users to make calls and send texts via voice control. Its programming is in such a way that permits users to make free calls to landlines in US, Mexico and Canada.
Notifying calls and texts with different coloured notification lights, Echo can also use one’s landline to place calls locally and internationally.
Echo’s multi-room support allows users to play music across rooms by simply giving one command to Alexa. All echo devices can be grouped together in a single loop using the Multi-Room Music Setting.
Spotify Premium Enabled
Amazon Echo and the inbuilt Alexa are also compatible with Spotify Premium to play music. Once Alexa receives the command to ‘Play Spotify’, it will take you to the play history and start from exactly where you left off. Additionally, users can explore through new playlists or demand a particular track they wish to hear.
Book a Ride
Echo and Alexa have made travelling by an Uber all the more convenient. Enabling the Uber feature in Alexa allows users to book a ride on Uber via Echo. In addition to booking the ride, Echo alerts you about the distance of the nearest driver and surge pricing.
Echo acts as a responsible reminder alert of all alarms and appointments. By syncing in one’s google calendar with Echo, Alexa updates users about their appointments for the day. Additionally, alarms can be set up with Alexa to go off at different intervals.
Applying the text- to- speech technology, Amazon has enabled Echo devices to read Kindle texts and other information from Wikipedia pages using its voice assistant Alexa.
Control Smart Homes and TV
Alexa enabled Echo can act as a remote to a smart house. It can take control of smart lights, turning them off and on, by obeying voice commands. Similarly, it can direct garage doors and smart televisions and allow users to switch channels entirely using audio instructions.
With fitness becoming an important facet of life, Echo can help users to get into shape. Its connection to Fit Bit is a seamless process, and it updates the users on its statistics. At the same time, it can facilitate different workout programmes for its users.
Entertainment for Kids
Amazon Echo is a friendly solution for every kid’s boredom. There are numerous games, silly questions and answers and trivia to occupy the kids in their leisure time.
Amazon Echo also acts as a news portal for those who like to keep themselves updated about the ongoing events. Users can access news articles via Alexa and can also customize the news sources they wish to hear from.
One stop solution
The list of what Amazon Echo can do is exhaustive and beyond the scope of containment. New additions to its features are taking place on the go. Moreover, all features are customizable to augment a seamless user experience. Finally, Alexa can to do anything and everything through proper commands.
Useful Things to ask Alexa
As a digital voice assistant, Alexa has the capability to sustain a conversation with the user giving relevant inputs, ideas and tips to gain more out of one’s day. One of its most intriguing features is its ability to answer a wide range of questions. Here’s a short list of questions that Alexa has ready responses to-
Alexa, ask Uber to book a ride for me
Alexa, how is the weather going to be tomorrow?
Alexa, how much time will it take me to reach my office today?
Alexa, what time is it in London now?
Alexa, how many gms make a kg?
Alexa, switch to Netflix
Alexa, can you please switch off the AC?
Alexa, go to Spotify Premium and resume my playlist
Alexa, can you book a flight to Mexico?
Alexa, get the top stories from The Economist
Alexa, increase the temperature of the living room by 5 degrees
Alexa, how many calories did I intake and burn today?
This list can go on, with no end to it. Alexa has an answer to the user’s every question. Its ability to strike a conversation, adds a spark to the interaction.
How to get Amazon Alexa?
Users excited about Amazon Alexa can get access to it through a number of means. Some products come with built-in Alexa that have a direct access to Alexa and obey audio commands. In addition, some devices are Alexa enabled, which do not have a direct access to Alexa. These devices can be controlled via audio commands when connected to an Alexa built-in device. However, the devices with built-in Alexa are just a few, and mostly constitute the smart audio devices powered by Amazon. These include Echo devices in all its variants i.e. Amazon Echo, Echo dot, Amazon firestick, etc. Nevertheless, a plethora of Alexa enabled devices surface the digital market and therefore, the benefits of Alexa have a route to the market.
Alexa enabled Devices
There are a range of devices that do not have direct access to Amazon Alexa, but can reap the benefits by connecting to other Amazon devices-
Caseta Wireless by Lutron-
These are plug-in dimmers which have been equipped with the digital innovation of being controlled by an app or Amazon Alexa. This Alexa enabled device can be controlled via audio commands through Alexa.
Philips Hue White LED Started Kit-
These smart LEDs are Wi Fi compatible. Additionally, their Wi-Fi compatibility can monopolize the benefits of Amazon Alexa to alter brightness via voice commands.
It is one of the best speakers that provides optimum sound for any music. When connected to an Alexa device, Sonos One can play voice controlled playlists.
Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller–
This digital innovation is a boon for those who love beautiful gardens, but are lazy at watering it. It connects with the existing irrigation system and through the backing of Alexa, ensures watering through voice commands.
Nest Learning Thermostat–
This technological revelation maintains room temperature at an optimum level. Since it is Alexa enabled, voice commands come in handy to alter the room temperature.
Schlage Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt–
As the crime rate rises, this smart lock system is the need of the hour. Being Alexa enabled, it allows the users to ask Alexa to unlock.
In conclusion, it is evident that technological disruptions like Alexa are the need of the hour. They not only make life easier but also open up roads to facilitate more innovations. Therefore, devices with built-in Alexa or the ones that are Alexa enabled take audio instructions, making them the most sought-after invention of the year.
By: recrosoft technology
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