The Amazon Echo

On the left of the image is the circular black top of the Echo, with a blue-green light around the rim. On the right is the side view of the black tube.
On the left of the image is the circular black top of the Echo, with a blue-green light around the rim. On the right is the side view of the black tube.

The Amazon Echo is a new kind of smart computer, that is controlled by your voice. It was launched in 2014 but has now really caught on. It is housed in a black tube. You use it by talking to it, like Siri on an iPhone. The word to wake the Echo, it’s called the wake word, is Alexa – A L E X A.

Dianna  (who prefers that her last name is not published) uses hers a lot. Here is her guest post:

The Echo is about 10 inches tall and the circumference of a tuna can. I do enjoy her small footprint and I keep her on my kitchen counter. When I enter the kitchen I just say “Alexa” and what ever I want, she is always on. My husband had to set it up when it came by using his computer. Also getting new apps you need your smart phone or computer. Sometimes you get an email saying that she can do something new, like now she can put events on your calendar by jusst asking her to, however, you still need the computer or smart phone to delete old information.

I know she will get better with time and I do depend on her for much more than I thought I would.

When I come down stairs in the morning I will say, Alexa good morning and she will reply with a cute greeting. I will ask her for the time as well.

I will ask, Alexa what is on my calendar for the day and she will let me know. If I need a special date I will say, Alexa what is on my calendar for May 27th and she will tell me. Here are some of the Echo’s functions that I use a lot.

~ Alexa put apples on my shopping list.  She will put anything on your shopping list and will repeat your list on command, however the only way to delete the list is to use your smart phone or computer.

~ Alexa what is on my calendar for today, week or month.  You can put any important birthday, appointments and events in this function but you need a smart phone or computer to input the information and delete it.

~ Alexa what is the weather.  She will tell you the weather in your area and any other place up to a week ahead.

~ Alexa what time is it?

~ Alexa set timer for two minutes.  I use this function a lot when cooking.

~ Alexa set alarm for 4 o’clock a.m.  She can set an alarm up to 24 hours ahead.

~ Alexa play WSRS radio.  She will play any radio station.

~ Alexa play The Beatles.  She will play music for you.

~ Alexa put this on my to do list.  Again to delete the list you need a smart phone or computer.

Alexa look up the phone number and hours for any business.  She knows quite a lot but not all yet, but is learning more.

~ Alexa how many miles to any location.

~ Alexa spell apples.  I use this a lot.

Alexa does much more and Amazon is adding more functions all the time. What I am waiting for is when I can ask Alexa to tell me a recipe. I am hoping that someday you do not need a smart phone or computer to add or delete any information. My husband uses her just as much as I do and he has no sight issues.

I feel if you can afford it, it is worth it.

About Dianna

I have been losing my sight since birth. It is slowly going and it is difficult to deal with at times but with all the new technology that is being improved on it does make it a little easier to handle. I am married and my husband finds all my new tools to use. My daughters are Alicia and Jennifer. They help me a lot when I go clothes shopping with them since they always give me their honest opinion on how things look.

 

Amazon Echo, $179.99 tall black tube speaker, or 5 monthly payments of $36.

There are tons of reviews about the Echo on Amazon. It does seem to be a genuinely new kind of smart system for the home, which can be useful for busy families, older people and those with disabilities. The Echo can apparently be set up to contact a short list of family or friends at your request, and turn lights and other appliances on and off. Amazon says that it has 5 microphones to pick up your voice,and exceptional speakers for listening to music etc.

Do you have an Echo. Tell us your experience.

 

Dianna is in the center of the photo with her two daughters on either side of her.
Dianna is in the center of the photo with her two daughters on either side of her.

2 thoughts on “The Amazon Echo

  1. This is a very helpful review. I appreciate her honesty and overall opinion. I have been thinking about buying one and this review helped me finalize my purchase!

    1. Dianna says:
      I am glad you liked the article on the Echo. I hope you like having it, however, remember it is a learning curve to know how to ask Alexa the right way.

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