All You Need to Know About Amazon’s Alexa

Date : 8-30-2017

All You Need to Know About Amazon’s Alexa

Alexa is the digital assistant that answers your commands and controls your smart home devices. Let’s look at what else Amazon’s Alexa can do.

Amazon’s Echo device made its debut in 2014. It wasn’t until December 2016 that the world sat up to pay attention. Amazon has been cagey about sales figures, but Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimate that the company has sold almost 11 million Echo units.

The Echo’s voice-based assistant, Alexa, is the real star of the Amazon show. Helping users to order an Uber, get directions, play music, or even perform mathematical calculations, Alexa was inspired by the Star Trek computer on board the Enterprise.

Asking Alexa to navigate a course to the nearest star system might be beyond her right now. But she learns fast, and she keeps earning fans with her ever-expanding AI system.

Let’s look at what Amazon’s Alexa can do.

What’s the Difference Between Amazon’s Alexa and Echo?

Amazon’s Echo is a wireless speaker. It’s the physical item that plays all the things you ask Alexa to play.

Alexa is the digital assistant that answers your commands, provides internet search results and weather reports, and controls your smart home devices. You can even link Alexa with your phone, meaning you can ask her to call your contacts without you needing to pick up the device.

The seven microphones embedded in the Echo make it easy for Alexa to hear you wherever you are in your home.

While Alexa is technically always on, she needs a trigger to pay attention. Most devices have a specific word, like “Alexa” or “Echo,” while the Amazon app features a button that wakes Alexa up.

This has led to privacy concerns around digital assistants. While Amazon stresses that Alexa only records after hearing the wake word, she is always listening to hear that word. The mute button on the Echo also shuts off electricity to the microphones so she can’t listen.

Why Use Alexa and Not Google Assistant or Siri?

Alexa has limitations, which we addressed here. But the future-facing aspect of Alexa comes through the “skills” you can install to expand Alexa’s functionality. If she can’t do something now, there is an additional skill available to use, or it’s in the pipeline.

Since May 2017, users have been able to order food using Alexa. That’s on top of streaming radio stations, Amazon Music, or audiobooks through Audible. Traffic and transport updates also keep you on top of problems on your daily commute.

If you use Philips Hue smart lights, Nest thermostats, or a range of other smart home devices, Alexa can also interact with them. It makes it more intuitive to ask Alexa to increase the temperature by 3 degrees than to fiddle with a thermostat.

So Why “Alexa”?

The x in her name is a hard consonant. It doesn’t sound like other letters in the alphabet so Alexa can tell when you’re talking to her. Amazon also said they were trying to play with ideas around the great Library of Alexandria.

Is Alexa Only Available in Amazon Devices?

Not at all. The Alexa system also appears within the Amazon apps you can download for iOS or Android. Better still, you can install Alexa voice controls within the SURE Universal remote. Instead of controlling your smart home devices through the app’s interface, you can now tell the remote app what to do.

Open your SURE Universal remote app. Tap the three dots in the top corner of the screen and choose “Features.” Tap the top option, “Alexa.” Sign into your Amazon account when prompted. Then, go back to the SURE app and select Alexa.

First, she’ll ask for your voice command. It’ll show up that she’s “listening.” Then it’ll change to “thinking” as she processes the request. She’ll respond, and then you can use Alexa to control the devices linked to your app.

Even if you don’t have an Echo, you can still enjoy the benefits of Alexa. Just remember to use her name before you ask her to do something.

Over to you – do you use Alexa in your daily life?

« || »

Comments are closed.

Recent Post

Smart Homes and How They can Make us All Healthier

Are Smart Homes Vulnerable to Malware?

IoT and How It’s Increasingly Being Used in the Banking Sector

The Types of IoT Networks & The Role They Play

Tags

Smart technology IoT Smart devices Activites for kids Alexa Amazon Amazon Fire TV Amazon’s Alexa Amazon’s Echo android apps Android Features Android Phone Apple TV April Fools Day Best Apps Chromecast Fitness Apps Classic Movies Fiber Internet Events Fiber Internet Connection Funny tricks Gifts Go Green Home Automation TV Shows Home Theater TV Remote Interesting IoT Security IoT – Internet of Things Light bulb Lighting Media Streaming Movie Trilogies Movies Pets Privacy Issues Product Update Productivity Apps Quiz Remote Control Roku Smart Device Top Apps Technology of Lighting Smart Home Smart TV Technology Streamer Event VR IoT; amazon; Home Automation; Remote Control IoT for kids Halloween smart socket smart thermostat nest thermostat smart fan smart shades smart humidifier freeze detector smart lighting Smart home gadget Christmas gifts gadget Christmas movies streaming control smartphone IoT Technology Wi-Fi connections lose weight track calories food scale shape scale smart scale fitness tracker IoT cloud robot virtual reality IoT Device thermostat security system smart IoT network smart city Magazines IOT Journal Evolution Magazine Digitalist Magazine IoT India Magazine Smart tech smartphones youtube channel gadgets wearables IoT applications GymWatch fitness wearable Amazon Alexa Echo dot Voice Control ocf interroperability SD-IoT Software digital media STB Set-top Box manufacturers certification Data services ads business model monetizing IoT ces 2018 demo interoperability Internet of Things Marketing IoT devices IoT data marketers smart garden devices Garden Sensor Wi-Fi Sprinkler Automower Smart LED Flood IoT influencers IoT space IoT news IoT Solutions IoT skills; IoT sensors; IoT devices; data security; IoT industry Sports and IoT; wearable sensors; Z-Wave ZigBee smart home hub Z-Wave devices Smart Toys kids mesh network IR devices IR blaster IoT Sensors father's day new tech costumer service Iot gadgets irobot alarm iotivity smart home specification automated home The Hub smart office Automated office Smart Homes Smart Home; IoT; IoT platforms IoT ecosystem IoT world Gateway smart buildings IoT platform smartphone app Smart Cities IoT hardware smart home technology IIoT technology industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Smart Industry connected devices building automation building autonation system iot tech smart home lighting Iot Gadget thanksgiving smart gadgets Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets Smart sensors contact sensors detector sensors temperature sensor water temperature sensor brightness sensor iot software platform IoT Gateway IoT Ready IoT gateway software home security window sensor door sensor Iot solution; smart city technology smart home tech market wearable tech IoT in Education smart LED lighting new world of IoT Preventive Maintenance IoT preventive maintenance smart refrigerator software-defined IoT platform Smart Doorbells home alarm systems office automation setups IoT health care medical devices IoT gizmos Smart Lock Smart Doorbell Smart Camera smart home IoT devices Bluetooth cellular IoT IoT Connectivity LPWAN hybrid IoT wireless protocols for enabling IoT The Internet of Things (IoT) mash network Wifi Li-Fi Internet of Things (IoT) What is Li-Fi? wireless protocols LED bulbs solar power solutions based on IoT IoT in solar energy plants utilizing IoT innovative technologies Trust Architectures for IoT 5G 5G works Remove term NB-IoT Cat-M1; Massive IoT Deployments; NB-IoT; Cat-M1; Massive IoT Deployments; IoT based technologies IoT integrated systems IoT automation IoT technologies Edge Computing Micro Data Network Iot; Easter; Blockchain secure network Data Sharing Augmented Reality AR technologies Weightless SIG wireless Personal Area Network (PAN) Nanonetwork Body Area Network (BAN) A Near Field Communication (NFC) Network Local Area Network (LAN)

Categories

Industry News

Company News

Ready to Try?

Follows us