Alexa – Echo

Amazon – I love it. It just makes it (too) easy to buy stuff from them.
We pay the 70 bucks a year so that we can have what they call Prime Membership. It gives us a few things. Two day shipping, streaming video, streaming music and unlimited photo storage to name a few.

They have released an interesting product…. An always on microphone that can answer your questions.

Here is an interesting bit about it;

Let me say straight up that I am seriously interested in this thing.

The Internet-connected hardware device provides support for Amazon’s virtual assistant platform. That platform, called Alexa, works like Apple’s Siri, Google Now or Microsoft’s Cortana. You talk to Alexa using Echo’s microphone. Alexa talks back through Echo’s speakers. Alexa does things for you. It answers your questions.

There is no conceptual difference between Alexa and Siri, Google Now or Cortana.

Simply put, you can just ask the room your question rather than get your phone out and ask that (or in my case, ask my smartwatch)….
Is it really that much of a pain to ask your watch? No, its more about the tech than the convenience.

I had to change my Google Now voice recognition from American to Australian to get roughly accurate results.
I really should spend more time talking to my Google Watch / Phone to teach it what I sound like / talk like.
The few times I have used it the results have been pretty neat.

Echo’s technology is not more advanced than the hardware facilitating interaction with Siri, Google Now and Cortana. But the use case, the approach, the scenario is more advanced.

In the future, virtual assistant hardware will be optimized for the space or location.

Just like in Star Trek, you talk into the space you are in and stuff happens.
Thats what they are talking about (pun intended).

Natural speech to control ‘things’ in our space is, well, natural. The only way we are going to get there is for early adopters to get their teeth into this tech and teach AI what we sound like when we ask the room a question.
Teach it the difference between asking it a question and asking a family member the difference.

This world is absolutely going to happen. And we’re going to love our virtual assistants, because they’ll protect us, help us and make our lives much easier.

Yes, of course we don’t want to be tracked — or be trackable. The idea of computers listening to us in our homes is creepy. It’s all in the service of exploitive commercialism. It feels dystopian.

All that is true.

But it’s also true that it’s going to happen. We’re going to love it. And people born from today onward won’t know any other way.

And that right there is the takeaway.
This stuff is going to happen. Like it or not. Use it or not.

I just hope that you can change the name from Alexa.
I really don’t like it at all.