Following on from Michele’s article yesterday about Google Home devices having a weird conversation, Mark Grayson takes a look at the Amazon Echo. Google Home devices might be able to argue about love and God, but what can Alexa do?
What Can Alexa Do?
The Amazon Echo is infiltrating homes all over the UK. It looks like a speaker and responds to voice commands. There is a personal assistant affectionately known as Alexa. She will carry out your voice commands (tasks) and control various smart home systems, e.g. your lighting.
The hands-free speaker has seven strategically placed microphones with noise cancellation and voice recognition. This is an awesome feature, as you can ask a question from anywhere within a 360 degree area, even when your music is playing!
If you have dreamed of having a personal assistant, Alexa can be contacted 24/7 by calling her name. She is always at the ready. If you want a private five minutes, you can turn her off by the switch!
Like any new personal assistant, Alexa wants to know the way that you work. She will, over time, adapt to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences. Alexa uses the cloud to update her knowledge, as well. She can help you to play music, provide information, deliver news and sports scores, tell you the weather, control your smart home and order your favourite Amazon Prime products.
You can customise your Echo device by using a feature called Skills in the Alexa App. The app has a number of categories in the Skills section which include things like: Go Places, Stay Informed, Make Your Home Smarter and Be Entertained. To get started, you just have to tap ‘Enable Skill’ when you’ve found one you fancy. Uber is just one of the apps that can be connected to Alexa. Just go into the Skills section and sign in with your Uber account – you are then good to go!
Here is a list of the 3rd party apps that can be connected with Alexa:
Mark Grayson is the Paid Social Account Manager at TDMB. He comes from an Education background, having previously worked as Head of IT in secondary education, hence his interest in Technology in Education. He is also a gifted pianist, as well as being skilled in digital marketing.