We have come a long way since the early days of Apple’s Siri when voice activated systems were a novelty. Voice activated user interfaces continue to make great strides and a number of startups are innovating in this space. (link to article) Voice activated digital assistants are also finding innovative uses in elder-care and rank in the top of digital innovations in technologies helping elders and seniors (link to article)
Amazon’s 2nd Generation All-new Echo is yet another advancement in the field of consumer devices that comes with improved sound – powered by Dolby, and a new design.
The most dramatic change is the redesign of Echo’s looks: The new Echo is considerably shorter than the previous models and users can choose from among six different shells including a few wood-veneer options. Key features for the new Echo include:
- Echo connects to Alexa—a cloud-based voice service—to play music, make calls, set alarms and timers, ask questions, check your calendar, weather, traffic, and sports scores, manage to-do and shopping lists, control smart home devices, and more—instantly
- Just ask for a song, artist, or genre from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and more. With multi-room music, you can play music on compatible Echo devices in different rooms. Echo can also play audiobooks, radio stations, news briefs, and more.
- Call or message anyone hands-free with your Echo device. Also, instantly connect to other Echo devices in your home using just your voice.
- Powerful speakers with Dolby processing that fill the room with immersive, 360° omnidirectional audio, and deliver crisp vocals and dynamic bass response
- With seven microphones, beamforming technology, and noise cancellation, Echo hears you from any direction—even while music is playing
- Just ask Alexa to control your compatible smart lights, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, and more (One will have to pre-configure such devices to work with Alexa)
- Alexa is always getting smarter and adding new features and skills. Just ask Alexa to control your TV, request an Uber, order a pizza, and more.
Should you order the new Echo now? Why not ask Alexa?
“Alexa, should I buy the new, improved Echo?”
“Sure Editor, why not? The new model is attractively priced at $99.”
“Alexa, should I order the new Echo now?”
“Yes Editor, you will get it just in time for the holiday season.”
Link to other reviews of the new Echo