Thursday, June 29, 2017

Textual description of firstImageUrl

Amazon Echo Review and the Battle to Adopt Voice Technology


Quote of the day: 

Tech is a funny industry; I don't think there is any other industry on the planet that reinvents itself every 10-12 years. -Edward Zander





Technology does tend to re-invent itself. Voice recognition has come a long way from the early days of digital speech recognition started by IBM. Now there are loads of enabled devices on the market. One product that I have been meaning to review is the Amazon Echo, a device designed by online retail giant Amazon. From the time it was gifted to me last Christmas (pictured above) until now, a new version was introduced by Amazon, called the Amazon Echo Show. It features a display screen with a lot of uses including video calls and watching youtube clips. There are also other smaller versions of the echo, each with special features.


What is Amazon Echo?

But this review is all about the Amazon Echo, a smart speaker that connects to a voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant service known as Alexa and has 7 inbuilt speakers. A voice assistant similar to Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, and Google assistant. Out of all the mentioned companies, Amazon was the first to design and introduce a specific product dedicated to the use of voice control technology, while also integrating itself as a home hub. The device has numerous capabilities -most of which I am yet to fully utilize. It is capable of voice interaction and runs on Microsoft's Bing search engine which means you can ask tons of questions and the results read back to you. It is all about convenience really. Since it is voice controlled and intelligent enough to answer back, I often ask Alexa about the weather for the day, daily news briefing, play music from the playlist or radio, basic math calculations, and when I am bored I ask it to tell me a joke. But I think one of the most valuable functionalities of the Echo is the ability to order for items on Amazon using your voice. And also, you can pair it with your bluetooth devices.

Impressive no? And that's just scratching the surface. You can also use the device for making to-do lists, audio book playback, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, and It can also control several smart devices by using itself as a home automation hub -to control lights, room temperature and so on.


Voice Technology Market


Credit: ZDNet

There is a huge market for voice technology, and even Google has joined the party with the Google Home device (notice the air freshener resemblance?)-the first alternative and rival to Amazon Echo. Some businesses understand the need for establishing new technology and also for thinking into the future. Seeing as Amazon is making its voice technology available to third-party device makers, the ideas are limitless. A Las Vegas hotel -The Luxe, for instance saw the potential and outfitted more than 4,700 rooms with Amazon's Alexa voice technology. And there's an article from Bloomberg about Siri and Alexa fighting to be your hotel butler. It doesn't stop there, car companies are also not waiting to be left behind. For instance Ford Motors has teamed up with Amazon to integrate its Alexa software into their cars.

Amazon, in itself a non-tech company has always been seen to lead the way while other tech companies closely follow suit. However, whichever way you look at it, all these companies are having even more control over very aspect of our lives, and there is no end in sight.



Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Billie Holiday - I'll Be Seeing You



22 comments:

  1. I agree with your comments about the large market now for the Echo and similar devices. I do not use any of these or similar devices. That said I do have devices in the form of a computer, iPhone and iPad. But I also like the old-fashioned ways of writing important dates on a paper calendar and writing notes and lists to myself. I also agree with your comment that companies are becoming way too invasive in daily life and sadly many people do not see this intrusion.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have not tried Alexa. Cortana gives me fits. When I ask a question I am often ignored but let a voice from the television say something and she pops into action. It is more annoying than helpful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Emma, sorry but I just had to tell you I had a good laugh because of your comment, it's all good. I just thought, "Gee, Cortana sounds like she's a teenager." Great comment!

      Delete
  3. i have always wondered what or how it works ... sounds interesting. but i prefer life as it use to be ... i hate to see parents working on the cell phones and not chatting with their kids. i remember when i didn't have a cell, ipad and computer ... it was a great day. miss those days. i understand we all need to be connected but there needs to be time with a face to face connection as well. ( ;

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm too old and easily bumfuzzled by the latest technology. Just seems we're getting closer and closer to Soylent Green.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will NEVER put on a football helmet to fight a riot

      Delete
  5. Very cool. But what about these companies infringing on your privacy by collecting data without your knowledge?

    ReplyDelete
  6. hmmm, says the guy who still uses a flip phone

    ReplyDelete
  7. I suppose these will become embraced but I don't think by me. I can voice control my phone, and voice control it by car bluetooth, but it is far from reliable and I just cannot be bothered to master it because it is not offer anything above what I can do with my fingers.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Interesting post, thank you for sharing :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Amazon Prime Day is coming up. Maybe Alexa will be on sale.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
  10. Now that would be nice--my own personal butler. Jeeves!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I remember not too long ago, needing voice technology for a student with a disability and the choices were limited and poor. How much easier that person's experience of school would be today.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I appreciate this honest and open, review. I have been looking into voice technology recently.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Good review. Thank you. (and remember: this is still the beginnings)

    ReplyDelete
  14. ...too high-tech for this old guy.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I enjoyed your reviews, thank you. We treated ourselves to the Google device after seeing the one my sister-in-law had. After staying there for a week we were hooked. The Amazon Alexa sounds intriguing.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Blogoratti - I can see what you're saying ... but I'd rather (for now) stick with the way I work. Yet - can quite easily see people enjoy these new devices and it's interesting how companies pick the ideas up and develop them further ... thank you for enlightening me - cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  17. Our son has an Echo and loves it.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I don't have one yet. I am still getting used to the voice in my car.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Good post! None of these devices around my home right now but don't know about the future. I loved EMMA's comment so much I had to reply to her. Enjoy your day.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Do connect with me on my other platforms below.

e: blogoratti@gmail.com
twitter: Iamblogoratti
Instagram: Iamblogoratti