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Amazon Echo - Best new tech gadget?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by NigelM, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    #1 NigelM, Mar 31, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
    http://www.amazon.com/oc/echo/

    I received my Amazon Echo last Saturday and after 30 minutes playing with it the big discussion started - where to locate the thing? My wife wanted it in the kitchen, I wanted it in my office, my daughter wanted it in her room....tough problem because everyone loves it.

    Sound quality isn't brilliant but it's more than acceptable and Echo is the first gadget I've come across that makes voice control fun.

    The app needs some UI improvement, although set up is easy. It's still much easier to go the Amazon website and add your playlists etc. there via your PC.

    Seems like distribution is still limited, if my family had their way we'd have ordered another two or three of these things already.
     
  2. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Interested in your long term review. We have a similar unit that integrates with our home automation and found it too difficult to use in busy areas like the kitchen (so now it's relegated to the bedroom where it's a one trick pony: "Good night" turns off the house and turns on white noise for the night). Sounds like the Echo has that solved though?
     
  3. Nevek

    Nevek Overt Member

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    Echo is more like an always on Suri or "Hey Google" for internet lookup and playing music. So far, it does not have home automation integration, but you never know what Amazon will do next. I've found it useful but limited in the couple of weeks we have had ours.
     
  4. 1208

    1208 Active Member

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    I thought it was supposed to be like the star trek computer?:smile:
     
  5. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Well I heard they were releasing an SDK, so realistically, you could have Echo respond to certain commands by sending a command to your home. The power of it (IMO) is the natural voice processing and (assumedly) strong mic with noise filtering.
     
  6. LetsGoFast

    LetsGoFast Active Member

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    Interesting. My reaction is rather less enthusiastic.
     
  7. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    Cool! :cool:

    Think to get it soon.
     
  8. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Active Member

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    #8 JohnSnowNW, Mar 31, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    I believe Prime users were able to order it just before Christmas. I like the idea, but think it needs to be more interactive. I'm waiting for Jibo.

     
  9. cmu5p

    cmu5p Member

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    #9 cmu5p, Mar 31, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Sign me up! "Hey, Jibo, please tell my Tesla to pick me up at my front door in five minutes."
    The future is now. Resistance, futile.
     
  10. Nevek

    Nevek Overt Member

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    Well, now you've done it. Waved a new hot gadget in front of a gaggle of tech lovers, including me.
     
  11. trils0n

    trils0n 2013 P85

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    If you could set the "wake word" to "Computer" I might order it, that would be way more fun to me than Amazon or Alexa. :wink:
     
  12. GlennAlanBerry

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  13. SR22pilot

    SR22pilot Member

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    I had mine for several months. It has been best in the kitchen where setting a timer or doing unit conversion is useful especially when your hands have flour all over them. The sound is ok but lack high end and hence is dull. Voice recognition is excellent and the microphone array really works. If you watch the light ring you can see that Echo figure out what direction your voice is coming from. I also find the shopping list useful since it is usually in the middle of doing something in the kitchen when I realize I need something. A simple "Alexa, add peanut butter to the shopping list" works reliably. I really wish Alexa was tied into Wink so I could use voice commands to control my home lighting.

    The bottom line is that at $99 I consider Echo a good buy. At $199, there are better bluetooth speakers out there. If Wink was integrated in then I would change the $199 comment to a buy.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Very tempting. I noticed however that there is no time frame for Wink and GE Link integration. I need to read the page again since it was confusing if the device includes voice commands or if that is through Kinect on an Xbox.
     
  14. JimmyAZ

    JimmyAZ Member

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    I received mine about a month or so ago and thought I would love it. I just didn't use it often enough to really think we needed it.

    Then I got all the Amazon Prime music figured out and have it in the corner of our great room between the living room and the kitchen. We use it all the time now! We set up really nice ambient music in the house when we're just tooling around relaxing. Also, it's pretty cool to use the 'grocery list' feature. Super easy since it's right there in the kitchen when I'm running low on food.

    I wish that it integrated with more of the audio equipment in the house but totally get that it's not really an end-all solution at this price point.

    All in all I'm really happy that we kept it!
     
  15. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    On the usage comments: we're discovering all sorts of things just because my daughter keeps talking to the Echo figuring out what it responds to. Weather, traffic, news are all very good; TuneIn works particularly well and allows us to listen to all sorts of radio stations simply by asking for them.

    Unlike Model S, Echo seems quite happy listening to my English accent. :-D

    P.S. I'd really like to be able to personal the name though. "Hal" seems the obvious choice.....
     
  16. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Ask Echo when Model S will be offered with larger battery capacities.
     
  17. DaveT

    DaveT Searcher of green pastures

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    I've had an Amazon Echo for a few months now and really like it. I keep it in our bedroom and use it for music and weather. I like that the updates keep making it smarter.
     
  18. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Female computer voice said:

     
  19. bluenation

    bluenation Member

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    gonna get outdated in few yrs by your smartphone + Google Voice

    cool gadget, still.
     
  20. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    LOL!! You know that didn't end well, don't you...

    I think I'd choose Hal too though!
     

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