Amazon Echo

In brief the Echo is a really promising product. It needs an update or two in order to be the intelligent product that is expected. For now this makes a fantastic replacement for a kitchen radio, playing your favourite tunes from your music library. The voice activation is fun and work really well, but the product itself is not quite there yet.

This product was bought with the intention of introducing our household to the wonders of home automation. With so many products already available I opted for this product because it is by a reputable brand and the ability to give voice activated commands seemed more convenient.

The device is essentially a Bluetooth speaker which connects wirelessly to your internet and it is mains powered so it is always connected and listening. I found the voice recognition to be considerably better than alternative products available (e.g. the Honeywell thermostat) and the listening range extends reasonably far without the need to raise your voice.
The build quality is top notch. It is made of dense plastic and must be internally padded as no vibrations or buzzing occur when the device is responding to commands/ playing music.

The audio quality is decent compared to a digital radio, but is not compared to any professional speaker equipment. The volume is adjustable and will easily fill the entire house.

At the time of writing commands can be given to research topics on the internet, set reminders for future events, play music from your library and even place an Amazon order. I look forward to future updates to extend the device command capabilities.

I am a bit let down that this device has no means of connecting external devices or network cable. It would be nice to connect it up to decent sound equipment for music playback. As I live in a bungalow I am fortunate to have excellent WiFi in each room of the house, but others are not as fortunate (and may not even have WiFi) for this reason it would be nice to see a wired Ethernet port.

This product is a step in the right direction for anyone interested in introducing home automation to their household. For the time being the product feels similar to when the Steam link was released. It was an awesome idea with huge potential, but required updates to make it as such. I am sure in time suitable updates will extend the capabilities of the device, especially as it is from a reputable company who have excellent customer support.

1 comment:

  1. Recently, I came across with these glasses for the blind. The artificial vision device converts what is in front of it to audio instantly. With this discreet assistive technology, partially sighted people can "read" without depending on others.