I’m very excited to get my hands on Amazon Echo as I’ve been waiting few months since I placed my order from Amazon. To me, this is a bright step towards the future of voice-controlled home automation.
In the past, I’ve used automation devices such as Belkin Wemo which receives a switch command either from my iPhone or Apple Watch. Even that doesn’t feel automated if I have to press few buttons simply to turn off a light switch. What Amazon Echo enables us is voice-controlled automations through services like IFTTT that is always listening to your voice. No more wearing or carrying of devices to act as your automation remote. There are lots of IFTTT recipes of Amazon Echo you can use.
Amazon Echo is fun to use even without any automation hacks. I brought it to my office to see how my co-workers react, and everyone seemed to enjoy the process of asking for a joke to some complex questions. I’ve noticed that Amazon Echo is very quick to respond to questions with definitive answers (factual). However, it could not answer vague questions or ones with subjective answers (e.g. “what is the best …”). So we had to ask a lot of questions until we start to learn what she tends to be good at answering to.
Some of my frequently used voice commands are:
- Alexa, what’s tomorrow’s weather?
- Alexa, tell me a joke
- Alexa, play some jazz
- Alexa, how is traffic?
- Alexa, what’s in the news?
- Alexa, Wikipedia *term*