As soon as the Amazon Echo became available in the UK, I pre-ordered it. Once it arrived, I got to testing it right away:
My initial thoughts, Amazon have developed a pretty good product here. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it could be a game changer. I like to think about it in two ways.
How much can it actually do? And how well does it do it? The promise of the Echo is to make your at home life significantly easier by making everything available by voice command. V1 only begins to scratch the surface in this respect. The integrations with Spotify and other services work well and demonstrate the clear potential here. Once you can plugin to all other services the utility will undoubtedly increase.
This is where the Echo and Alexa, triumph. The experience of using Alexa is at worst a little frustrating (when it doesn’t understand a command) but at best is amazing. It’s difficult to say exactly why, but its just nicer, more human, better.
Another benefit is that when you are using your voice as the mode of input it frees up your hands (the other typical input) to do other things. I’ve already noticed this become useful on a daily basis. For example, when I’m cooking I can ask Alexa to set a timer without having to stop, wash my hands and set it on my phone manually.
So I’m pretty excited about the future of the Echo. The utility stands to only get better as more services are integrated whilst the experience is already great. At a price point of £150, I think it’s quite compelling and stands to only improve.