Amazon is launching two new devices for the smart home – the two voice-controlled echo and echo dot speakers. Echo (around 180 euros) and the smaller echo dot (around 60 euros) are controlled completely by the voice of a user and can thus be operated free-hand. All this works thanks to Alexa, a cloud-based language service from Amazon. But Echo, Echo Dot and Alexa can do much more than just play music.
The speakers are activated in a very simple way. The user has only to say “Alexa” and can then simply explain what he wants from the language service. Alexa switches on a certain radio station, plays the desired songs from Amazon PrimeMusic, checks the weather, places requested, articles on their own shopping list, checks sports results or game plans, checks if there is traffic jam on the way to work, reads audio books, answers general questions and can use compatible devices to turn on the light or heating. If asked how the previous evening his favorite club has played, one would get answer from Alexa within seconds. And, of course, you can order new products by simply using voice commands at Amazon.
Amazon promises that Alexa is constantly learning and developers add new skills for Alexa daily For German consumers, “support for Tagesschau, Spotify, mytaxi, BMW, innogy and Deutsche Telekom will be added in the coming months. Alexa can be equipped with the appropriate skills a user needs. The storage space does not matter; the service finally works over the cloud.
“In the United States, millions of customers in the US have already fallen in love with Alexa and we are thrilled that she is now speaking German,” enthused Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, in September: “We are pleased to bring Echo and Alexa to Germany.” Whether users will be equally impressed by Alexa, Echo and Echo Dot, of course, it will have to be shown first.