Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Oh no, what have I done?

In a weak moment, whilst perusing the Black Friday offerings on, I ordered one:

Amazon Echo
Amazon Echo is designed around your voice. It's hands-free and always on. With seven microphones and beam-forming technology, Echo can hear you from across the room—even while music is playing. Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with immersive sound.

Echo connects to Alexa, a cloud-based voice service, to provide information, answer questions, play music, read the news, check sports scores or the weather, and more—instantly. All you have to do is ask. Echo begins working as soon as it detects the wake word. You can pick Alexa or Amazon as your wake word. [...]
The features listed with the photo are only a few of the key features. Follow the link for more info, embedded videos, reviews, FAQ and more.

It, "Alexa", arrives tomorrow. I wonder if it will be anything like HAL from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey? That would be kinda cool, I guess. As long as she isn't the Beta version that murders you while you sleep.

UPDATE 12-08-15: So far, so good. It does everything they said it would. Only complaint, it can't attach to external speakers (but I knew that before I bought it.) It was very easy to set up, it's very easy to use. The voice recognition is really excellent. I can play radio stations from all over the world. When I want info about a song or music, I can ask Alexa, and she will tell me.

There are more features available if I sign up for Amazon Prime ($100 per year, which works out to $8.50 a month). I'm thinking about it.


dawnymarieeeee said...

Amazon has several truly free "trial periods" whereby one procures a month or more free - the only requirement is your "yea" or "nay" at the end of the trial period.
IMO and I have shopped at for many moons largely due to the respect we live in a rural area with extremely limited choices of any establishments. and then there is the free two day shipping.
and like you said the streaming on Prime is worth it at that low monthly rate - Amazon also offers music, ebooks with Prime. Hope this helps - I read your blog and appreciate your assessments and posts insightful, intelligent and unbiased :)

Chas said...

Thanks for sharing that, Dawnie.

We've been discussing it at our house, and have concluded that at the end of the 30 day trial period, we will most likely try it for a year.

We also live in a rural area with limited local choices, and thus do much of our shopping at Amazon, so free shipping without a minimum order limit would be convenient.

Having access to Prime music makes Alexa more interesting. The pre-made Prime music playlists are convenient, til we get around to making our own.

We are also interested in seeing how both Alexa and the Prime service continue to evolve. They may both become even more useful over time.