June Gadget of the Month: Amazon Echo
The pace of change seems to increase daily. Twenty years ago when you needed to do research you went to the library. Ten years ago you grabbed your computer and looked it up online, albeit at slow speeds. Five years ago you would take out your phone and look it up in a matter of second. Now we have the next evolution in search and convenience technology. The Amazon Echo.
The Echo is an internet ready speaker that acts as a personal assistant. Say you’re leaving the house but aren’t sure whether it’s going to rain. No problem! All you do is say “Alexa, is it going to rain today” and it tells you whether you need a raincoat.
Or a recipe uses an unfamiliar measurement, so you ask Alexa what the conversion is. Or you want to know when your favourite team is playing next, what the current score is, or you want to find out about a specific player. It’s capable of all of that.
The applications certainly don’t stop there; Alexa is also capable of playing your music through the iTunes cloud, Pandora and Spotify, and even has some home automation features that would allow you to adjust lighting.
Amazon releases frequent updates that encompass functions relating more to The Internet of Things. In the future it may be possible for Alexa to lower the temperature, turn on the oven and even start the washing machine, all without touching a button. For the $200 price tag we believe the Echo is a steal.