Amazon Echo: Making Your Life Easier

Ever thought of hiring a personal assistant because you simply cannot juggle meetings, briefings, projects, drooling kids and remembering to buy milk and paper towels? Alexa inside of the Amazon Echo is here to save your sanity.

Photo of actual Amazon Echo

The new Amazon Echo has been dubbed “the iPhone of the smart home” by Forbes. Alexa, the Echo’s version of Siri, is available to help you with all of your household needs. Now, you will not only have a smart phone, but also a smart home. The Echo has made users feel comfortable employing Alexa for all entertainment services, Internet inquiries, and even grocery shopping. ” A year later, the iPhone had launched touch on its way to becoming the dominant interaction interface of the next decade. Echo is doing the same for voice,” wrote Michael Wolf for Forbes.

This 9.25 inch device can be placed anywhere in your home where there is WiFi access, and to engage Alexa, you simply say, “Alexa -” and follow with your request. For example, you can say, “Alexa, how far away is the hospital?” and she should let you know specifically, just like Siri would. You can also ask her to add things to your grocery list, and play music from Amazon Prime, to name a few things. The following is a list of other cool things Alexa can do:

  • Exercise. You can ask Alexa to start a workout, and she will generate sets of various exercises like jumping jacks, pushups, squats and more.
  • Connect her to your home appliances – then ask her to shut off your lights. Using various iPhone apps, you can connect Alexa to Philips or WeMo, and then ask Alexa to shut the lights off, or dim them to set the mood for your dinner party.
  • Ask her just about anything: to tell a joke, to play tricks on your kids, how many calories are in the chocolate cake you have been eyeing all day.
  • Replenish your paper towel supply. Simply tell Alexa to “add paper towels” to your shopping list, and she will add it to your cart on Amazon. Nifty, right?

Not a believer in the power of Echo? Here is someone who can tell you what Alexa can’t do so well. And then someone who can tell you even more things that Alexa can do.

Comic of man using Alexa in Amazon Echo

Photo courtesy of WSJ

So, for the seemingly small cost of $179.99, would you employ Alexa as your new personal assistant?