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Is Amazon Echo the new future of "smart" world?

Kevin Nouse - Freelance software developer

The "smart" world was taken up by storm 5 years back when Apple launched Siri in 2011. It's kind of cool when you have somebody finding you almost whatever you want with just a single command on your screen. But won't it be cooler if you can have something that obeys your commands without you having to look at the screen? Certainly, yes- Enters Amazon Echo. Developed by the online retail giant Amazon, Echo is a powerful voice-enabled wireless Bluetooth speaker that assures what Siri can, what Siri cannot and much more. Its wake word is "Alexa" but it can be changed to "Echo" or "Amazon". Launched in November 2014, Echo became available for the States widely in June 2015.

Is Echo the new future of the "smart" world? Read on the Amazon Echo review below to find out.

More handy to use compared to Siri

Unlike Siri, you won't have to take out the device or press buttons everytime whenever you want Echo to do something for you. It's always out & ready for your commands. Simply take Echo out of its package, connect its Wi-Fi with your tablet or phone and sync up with Alexa app. Then, just as you enter the home and say "Alexa", you will have Echo on its marks for you. It could be reading out latest headlines or playing some light jazz, setting kitchen timer and what not!

Far-field voice recognition

One of the best bits about Amazon Echo is that it comes with 7 noise-cancelling microphones backed by "far-field" state of the art voice recognition technology. Such an edgy design enables Echo to hear the user even when s/he isn't exactly next to the speaker. It could mean Echo turning on TV in the living room for you as soon as you ask for it 2-3 rooms away while whipping up your dinner in the kitchen. Siri stands nowhere to such a high-tech wonder.

Cloud based service

Amazon's chief of devices Dave Limp had noted-"One of the greatest things about Echo's Alexa is that it's cloud-based service and hence we can easily improve it just every minute. No wonder, Alexa is only getting smarter constantly." Once Alexa will hear the user's voice, the speaker streams everything to Amazon's cloud. Based on the user's command, Alexa will dig out the right database such as Wikipedia or Amazon's own set of book database- to convey the exact desired info to the user. It could be a Coldplay tune or verses from Romeo & Juliet and so on.

Robust audio quality

Echo amazes with a robust audio quality, in rhyme with other popular Bluetooth speakers such as Sony SESX2 or Jambox Mini.

Easy setting

It's a snap to set Bluetooth with the phone- there no issues of struggling with settings or menu. You would simply need to ask Alexa to connect the phone to Bluetooth & the rest would be handled by Echo.

Most recently, Alexa is amped up to perform new tricks that it couldn't do before- such as hailing a Uber ride, ordering pizza, streaming music right from Spotify and so on.

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