Alexa's gradual procession toward ubiquity is proof that the Echo speaker isn't the heart of Amazon's voice assistant, it's the server farms that run it. Now you can tap into Alexa with the device sitting on your desk or lap thanks to Echosim.io, a website that replicates the experience of talking to Jeff Bezos' smart speakers. Sign in with your Amazon info, give the website permission to access your microphone and you're good to go.
From there, hold the site's microphone and then ask about what's on SyFy, if it's going to rain tonight or a definition of the word "they." Think of it as a try before you buy, or, if you're a developer, a a way to test your mettle before fully committing to the platform. Amazon's Glenn Cameron writes that by following the company's tutorials, it should take less than an hour to build your first Alexa skill.