Remember Siri? The talking lady voice on Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) products? Now brace yourselves as here comes Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) very own speaking intelligence assistant called as the “Amazon Echo” to which you could speak all day and give voice directions and commands. And it is not some sort of a mobile app; it is a speaker which Amazon would probably want you to place in your living room and chat to all day long.
It also will take commands like “Play this tune by the Beatles” or “Add a pair of jeans to my shopping list”. Amazon has revealed that this assistant can also access the internet in search of questions like “Will it rain tomorrow? Or what about today’s weather forecast?” Amazon said that it would be shipping these out in couple of weeks for sure. Amazon also recently unveiled that the speaker “Echo”, which works on Amazon Web Services, learns the preferences and the speech pattern of the user over time.
People may wake up the speaker by just saying the word “Alexa” which is its actual name. And then they can command, ask questions or stream music directly from their cloud library or from web services like Amazon Prime Music, iheart Radio or even take advantage of its Bluetooth compatibility and use Spotify, Pandora and iTunes. Alexa or the “Echo” listens to user requests using its seven microphones and can understand a voice even while it is playing music in the background.
Amazon says that the sensors on “Echo” use beam forming technology to hear a voice from any direction. The speaker also uses a 360 degree sound technology so that the audio could spread out in the entire room. The Amazon Echo will be priced at $199, though for a limited period, Amazon will sell it at $99 to its Prime loyalty scheme members through a special invitation in the coming weeks. Amazon has been quite busy lately, and has started to develop new ideas and is shifting away from just being a simple online shopping portal to become something like Google.
Amazon has recently developed smart phones, video productions and even created its own app store to rival the PlayStore. Although the past year has been tough on Amazon and the company’s sales forecast have disappointed the Wall Street and the investors, who want to see Amazon deliver sufficient profits, this sure seems like a really ambitious project which many would have believed to have come out of Google but it is actually a product of the retail Giant Amazon.
This assures that people at Amazon are working extremely hard to innovate and bring new things out into the market.