Amazon is preparing to offer a new speaker/information device that you control with your voice. “Amazon Echo” will begin shipping in the coming weeks. The cloud connected speaker will always be listening for voice commands, and will provide information, news, weather, music, and more when you ask for it.
From the Amazon Website:
Echo is always ready, connected, and fast. Just say the wake word, “Alexa,” for:
- News, weather, and information: Hear up-to-the-minute weather and news from a variety of sources, including local radio stations, NPR, and ESPN from TuneIn.
- Music: Listen to your Amazon Music Library, Prime Music, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio.
- Alarms, timers, and lists: Stay on time and organized with voice-controlled alarms, timers, shopping and to-do lists.
- Questions and answers: Get information from Wikipedia, definitions, answers to common questions, and more.
- More coming soon: Echo automatically updates through the cloud with new services and features.
The Echo is basically a Siri-like personal assistant, but in a speaker instead of a mobile device. Amazon says the unit’s built-in voice recognition can hear users from across the room. The speaker will also play content from Amazon Prime Music, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn Plus.
Echo will be available on an invitation only basis at first, and will then be offered to the public soon after. Amazon will also have companion apps for smartphones to work with the device.
Echo will be priced at $199, ($99 for Amazon Prime members), and is available via invitation only. To request an invitation, visit the Amazon website.
(Via The Verge)