Digital Bounds Logo

What The Heck Is an Amazon Echo?

Whenever I first saw the commercial for Amazon Echo, I immediately knew I had to get it. The promotional video which you can watch here, shows a blue-tooth speaker that is part speaker, part assistant and all parts awesome.

While I’m particularly cautious around Amazon, (they just bagged a $600 million contract with the CIA) I quickly concluded that the most the shadowy agency could do with Echo is just listen to me sing terribly with the songs that I play so…eh

After sending in an invitation request, I received an e-mail about a week or two later notifying me that my request was granted and that I had nine days to claim my invitation/buy Echo since there was such a high demand for it. Since I’m an Amazon Prime member, I reclaimed my Echo for $99 (which is a total steal by the way) as opposed to the $199 it would have been otherwise.

The e-mail that I was greeted with is below and gives some pretty good ideas on what Echo is about.

E-mail I received notifying me of my Echo acceptance
E-mail I received notifying me of my Echo acceptance, the reason why Echo isn’t everywhere now isn’t mentioned, but one could deduce that AmazonĀ  didn’t want to overwhelm Echo’s cloud-based intelligence.

To get a better sense of what Amazon Echo can do, we made a video that will hopefully give you a feel for what it’s about:

Update: After having my Echo for a month, everything seemed great except for the fact that Echo would sometimes turn on randomly or not execute the actions requested. Amazon allowed me to exchange my Echo for a new one and I was surprised to find quite a bit of updates for it over the weekend. Even with the minor hiccups, I’d still give the Amazon Echo a 9/10 for the lack of difficulty in the set-up process, and for the company’s determination and consistency with improving this awesome product.

Listed below are the two updates that Echo’s received since my purchase of it in December:

Update2and this is a super recent one, I tried out the sayings and it was kind of funny to hear Alexa(The name of Amazon’s AI) respond:

Have any questions about Echo that weren’t covered in the video?
Feel free to leave questions in the comments below or on the YouTube video!