Amazon Echo: What is it and Why Get One?

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo, or “Echo” for short, is a smart speaker developed by Amazon. This 9.25-inch tall cylinder speaker was initially made available for Amazon Prime and invited members on November 6, 2014. It was released throughout the U.S on June 23, 2015. The Echo was Amazon’s first attempt to expand its device portfolio after the success of the Amazon Kindle e-reader. Two years after its launch, about 5.1 million Amazon Echos have been sold.

The introductory price of the Amazon Echo is $179.99. If you think about it, it’s a hefty price to pay for a plain speaker. However, the Echo isn’t just an ordinary amplifier for your tunes. The Amazon Echo’s popularity lies in its smart speaker performance. This means that the Amazon Echo is created to have more than one function aside from playing your music, and provides easy control to its users.

Offers Easy, Hands-Free Control

Hands-Free Control

Operating the Amazon Echo is made simpler with its voice-activated remote control. By uttering the wake word “Alexa,” the device is immediately ready to respond to your commands. Alexa is a cloud-based voice service and the device’s intelligent personal assistant. If “Alexa” adds confusion to your household, the name can be changed by opening the Amazon Alexa app on iOS or Android later on. As for music, the Amazon Echo can stream your playlist via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The device also has access to several content streaming services like TuneIn, iHeart Radio and Spotify (with the latter two available to subscriber accounts).

More than an Outlet for Music

Amazon Echo Menu

Even if you don’t have a comprehensive playlist, Amazon Echo provides other functions to jump-start your day. After uttering the “Alexa” wake word, you can command the device to:

  • Give you news, sports, weather and traffic updates
  • Make you a check or to-do list
  • Check your schedule that’s linked to your Google calendar
  • Set timers and alarms
  • Answer any queries (e.g. spelling, trivia and facts)
  • Make online purchases to Amazon (limited to Amazon Prime users and the users’ buying history)
  • Purchase digital music

The Amazon Echo can also be used as a home automation device. You can lock doors, switch lights on and off and control your home’s thermostat via voice command.

Designed for the Future

Amazon is constantly updating the Amazon Echo to give users more accessibility and control. In the near future, the Echo can be used to initiate phone calls and be treated as a home intercom system. Amazon is also developing a 7-inch touch screen to accompany the device, to ease content access.

The Amazon Echo truly is an amazing device that makes indoor living easier and more comfortable. If you’re ready to be a part of that lifestyle, getting the Amazon Echo is a good place to start.

Contact LeBlanc Communications if you’re looking to hook your business with the latest communications products as well as maintenance and support services. We offer various installation services to make it easier to run your business – just like how the Echo improves a household’s environment. Give us a call at 203-938-8400 and we’ll be happy to assist you. Our services are available to properties in Connecticut and New York.