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If you’re looking for a great Personal Digital Assistant for your Smart Home, look no further.
Amazon is now shipping Amazon Echo, a voice controlled information service and home automation device.
Just like the other PDAs that we’ve come to love (and hate), it’ll provide you with all sorts of information. You just have to say Alexa first before you ask something for it.
You can ask Alexa for news, the weather, traffic updates, sports news It can answer questions for you. You can ask it for baking recipes, directions, recommendations and more. It will provide information based on how specific you are with your inquiries. It’ll even tell jokes if you ask it. You can even ask it for a limerick. It’s tied to a cloud-based service so you’ll need to have this connected to the Net at all times.
It’s an alarm clock as well and order it to snooze so you can get more zzzz time. It can also stream music. Play music from Amazon Music, Prime Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more. It works best with an Amazon Prime account so you can listen to streamed music and audiobooks from it. It boasts of a 360º omni-directional audio to fill the room with immersive sound.
It’ll even recognize your voice across the room via its Far-field voice recognition system.
Amazon says that since it’s connected to the cloud, it’s gets smarter as it goes along. It’s not a super advanced Artifical Intelligence, mind you. But as you interact and ask it for more information, it’ll be smarter in getting information from the cloud. What’s cool as well is it will adjust to anyone’s English accent.
It has a companion app so you can access your Amazon Echo anywhere.
But it does more than that. It can work with Belkin Wemo and Philips Hue connected devices to control lights and switches with your voice.
The Amazon Echo costs US$180 and will start shipping this July 15. And yes, I will be getting one for myself.