Have You Met Alexa and Friends?
This year, Amazon has decided to give us all a new buddy… Well, a virtual buddy that is, to make life even more easier. We probably need not take notes anymore, and our memory power might take a backseat with Alexa bidding our every command.
Alexa is a virtual assistant that is able to transform a living space into a smart home. All you will have to do is to ask a question, and Alexa will answer instantly.
Amazon also launched the Alexa-enabled devices such as Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, and other devices. As described by Amazon, Alexa “lives in the cloud”, so one need not worry about regular updates. Alexa’s intelligence gets updated promptly, and updates are delivered to your devices automatically.
Here’s a sneak peek at how Alexa can make your life easier and more fun.
Echo is designed around your voice, and you can reply on it to give you information, music, news, sports scores, and weather from across the room and get results or answers instantly. The device leverages on Amazon Web Services to continue to learn and add functionality over time.
Tucked under Echo’s light ring are seven microphones. These sensors use beam-forming technology to hear you from any direction, even when Echo is playing music. Echo (and the Echo Dot) uses on-device keyword spotting to detect the wake word. When Echo detects the wake word, it lights up and streams audio to the cloud, using AWS to recognise and respond to your request.
Echo delivers crisp vocals with dynamic bass response. Its dual downward-firing speakers produce 360 degree audio to fill the room with immersive sound. Echo provides hands-free voice control for Amazon Music, Prime Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn.
So if you need to find out the 4D or TOTO results, or the lyrics to your favourite song… fret not.
If you’re someone who keeps your appearance and outfit in check, the Echo Look could be your potential BFF. This Alexa-enabled device can help you look your best. All you have to do is to use your voice and you’ll be snapping full-length photos and short videos in no time. It comes with a hands-free camera that includes built-in LED lighting, depth-sensing camera, and computer vision-based background blur.
The companion app helps you organise and look through your shots from every angle, and you can use it to create personal lookbook and share your photos. And the Echo Look helps you to discover new brands and styles inspired by your lookbook.
And if you can’t make up your mind on which outfit to pick, or if you need a second opinion on which looks the best, the Style Check service will lift that burden off your shoulder. This feature combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists. Cool, isn’t it?!
Amazon Tap joins the innovative range of portable music devices, with its Bluetooth and Wi-Fi functions. It promises rich, full-range sound, along with Alexa to serve you when you need any virtual assistance – just tap onto the button if you need to ask for music, hear news, search for information, order a pizza, or more!
An over-the-air (OTA) software update adds hands-free activation capability to the Tap. This, together with price and portability, makes Tap a clear winner in comparison to its sibling, the Echo.
Having an Echo Show in your smart home will give you the added security to keep you at ease. This beauty is built with eight microphones, a front camera, and a powerful Dolby-equipped speaker.
Also Alexa-enabled, the device connects with your cameras on your home network and displays the respective feeds on its 7-inch screen at command. So if you need to check out who’s at your front gate, Alexa shows you what you need to see on the Echo Show. (Note: This device works with selected security cameras such as Amcrest, Arlo, August, EZViz, IC Realtime, Ring, Nest and Vivint).
Besides security, you could use it even for other purposes; for example, you don’t need the thick recipe book to bake that heavenly chocolate cake. Summon Alexa on the Echo Show to flash your favourite recipe, and you’re all set to bring on your inner domestic goddess.
What if you had an Echo or Echo Dot? Well, Amazon’s made it a possibility to have audio feeds sent to these two devices with a command phrase, and has released the camera control API into the wild so that developers can start cracking on even more implementations for it.
So are you going to convert your residence into a smart and safe home with these novelties?