What is the Amazon Alexa?

ME: “Alexa how do I start off a segment in a newsletter?”

ALEXA: “Well I would start by saying what it’s about”.

Four years ago in November Amazon released one of their biggest products ever and that product was the Amazon Echo. The Amazon Echo is part of the huge and ever growing Alexa family. There are currently eight members in the Alexa family and there are still plans for more. Each product does something different than its sibling but they all have the one common goal, to help.  Here is a list of all the amazing Amazon Echo products :

  • Echo Connect- Allows you to control your WiFi and your landlines, and even make calls from it.
  • Echo Dot- Smallest of the family. Has all the features of the original Echo just in a smaller more compact package
  • Echo- This is the original Alexa that has all the features that you will soon hear about.
  • Echo Tap- This is a portable Alexa that you can charge and then take with you wherever you go. Has built in speaker so you can enjoy some music on the go.
  • Echo Spot- Includes all the great features of the Echo but also has a front facing camera that allows for video calls.
  • Echo Plus- This Alexa is the original Echo but plus sized. Its taller with better range and louder speakers.
  • Echo Look- This one is your own personal fashion assistant. The Echo Look will take pictures of you in your outfits when you ask and it will analyze your clothes and suggest similar clothes to buy.
  • Echo Show- This Echo is a bigger version of the Echo Spot with a nicer camera and a better screen.

When Amazon released the first Echo they had intentions on it being a personal, hands free, voice activated, assistant. It has truly lived up to their expectations. They didn’t intend on it sparking a reaction in the AI (artificial intelligence) world. Thanks to Alexa almost every company that makes technology gadgets wants to make their own version. What those companies don’t realize though is that none of their personal assistants even come close to Alexa. Alexa has the capability to help people do almost anything in the house. Lets see everything she can do.

ME: “Alexa turn on the lights please”

ALEXA: “Sure thing!”.

The ability to control your lights is just one of endless features that Alexa has. Thanks to Alexa you can have complete control over your house just with a simple phrase. The lights, television, stove, music, thermostat, roomba, and even the doorbell all have the ability to be controlled by Alexa in turn being controlled by your voice. You may be wondering to yourself “well I dont need some robot to control all of those things for me”. That may be true but we all know that there are sometimes that you just don’t want to get up from your seat or you can’t get up from your seat because you’re busy. That is where Alexa comes in handy. If you are busy with something but you need to preheat the oven for dinner tonight then tell Alexa to do it. She can turn on your oven or start the washing machine thanks to her amazing compatibility with smart appliances. All of these things can be controlled just by saying a few words.

Let’s get back to cooking dinner though shall we. Cooking can be rough sometimes. It requires all lot of ingredients, time, and effort, and two out of three of those things can be managed by Alexa. Can you guess which ones? I’ll tell you anyway. The answers are ingredients and time. When your cooking you need a lot of ingredients and sometimes you run out of things. Well if you have an Alexa nearby then you can just tell her to add it to your shopping list. That isn’t all she can do though. When it comes time to go shopping for everything you but on your list you can just have Alexa print out your list for you. So you’re still cooking and you put something in the oven and it needs to be in there for twenty-five minutes. All you need to do is tell Alexa to set a timer for however long you want and she will alert you when the time is up.

Dinner is now ready and you need to tell everyone in the house. Instead of screaming to everyone what you can do is connect to all the Alexas in the house and use it like an intercom system. Just like that you are able to communicate with everyone in the house even if they are on different floors and you don’t even have to raise your voice. These are just some of the many new ways that Alexa is changing and automating what we can do.  Stay tuned for more new features they will think up to help improve our lives through artificial intelligence!

Some funny videos

About the Author

Brendan Nangle is the author of this post.  Brendan is enthralled with all things digital and in particular the ability to reduce any and all manual steps.  He enjoys experimenting with Alexis products and gadgets as well as all things mobile!   Stay tuned for more articles from Brendan.