I just bought an Amazon Echo...

And I don’t know why. With points it only cost me $14, so for that I’m giving it a shot. They’re going for $300 on ebay, so there’s that. :slight_smile:

I tried to sign up for a case study thing here in 'Zon proper, but apparently all their spots filled up. I think it’s a pretty cool idea, I’d be interested to see how you like it if you don’t sell it!

I sooo…want one for my own amusement. “Echo, remind my wife to make me a sandwich in 5 minutes.”

Oddly, the only 2 ‘wakeup’ words that can be used is Alexa and Amazon. Echo is an obvious omission, IMO, but they have stated that this will be more configurable in time.

The welcome email is very clear that it is a ‘limited-but-growing’ feature set at this point. For example, it can do weather, but not traffic at the moment.

I’m looking forward to seeing what it can('t) do and how well is does(n’t) do it. I’ll provide some feedback here for the curious few.

I thought you could teach it to use any wakeup word…

Not yet, which is totally dumb. I deeply want to call the thing Gary Busey and also have it have his voice. Amazon lost a customer there.

Hello, pants.

I got it set up last night so a few early observations:

  • It sounds very natural, much more so than Siri or GoogleNow
  • It wakes up really quickly to it’s name. Kind of freaky.
  • It’s really good at news, weather and music
  • It has a nifty little feature where the LEDs on top orient to the direction of the person speaking
  • it is easily confused when I try to issue a request and my 16 year old adds in “with my butt” before I’ve completed my sentence.
  • It really does work across the room

Overall, it’s a fun toy, but not seeing real value yet. It’s supposed to improve over time, so I’ll reply back with any new discoveries.

Do you find it to be sensitive enough to your voice? Your wife is EXUBERANT so I’m not sure she’s a great test, but I have heard of possible issues with womens’ voices not always registering. I’m still torn on getting one, I feel like ultimately I’d feel the same way as you- neat but uh not super useful.

Wifey has not “used” it per se, but enjoyed the things I did with it. Tonight was kinda cool, actually – we were eating dinner, and I said, “Alexa, play Dave Matthews.” She immediately began a shuffled playlist of DM songs that were great while dining. Vocal volume control is the bomb, BTW. “Alexa, volume up.” Makes you feel all-powerful when something like that works the way it should. I also found out you can customize the news feed, so that made it a little better, too.

As far as voice recognition goes, I can’t ever see it being a problem. I got her to listen from across the room WHILE music was playing. Not sure how they pulled that one off, but it seem pretty good. Apparently you can train it for your voice, but I have not found a need to do so.

Definitely gadgety/gimmicky at the moment, but I could get used to the music thing very quickly.

Funny story… Echo gets her share of misheard items, which are sometimes silly, sometimes not. Last night I was making dinner and my dog started scratching at the door to go out. I said, “Alexa, let the dog out.”, just to be funny. She promptly replied, “I’ve added ‘Let the dog out’ to your to-do list.”

We all had a good laugh on that one.

I signed up, but haven’t been offered one yet. Sounds interesting.

I was invited to purchase Echo today, so I did. They estimate shipping in 3 months.

They offered it to me this week too, I think I decided against it for now. I just don’t think I need it? I need to see it in person and get real jealous before I gotta get it.

I don’t think I want an Echo

I don’t think I want an Echo

I’m still meh on mine. It’s nice for music for sure, but I’m not taking advantage of the to-do list or reminders, etc. Probably would be more useful that way, but so far it’s just a little more convenient than my stereo.

I’d probably pass if I knew now what I didn’t know then. But the hook of an early invite made me impetuous.



Slydon’s just a real hardass about using his stereo system since 1) it’s nice and 2) he just cares about quality. I feel like if I lived without him, it’d be fine for me, but living with him- I think he’d just prefer me to do that stuff on his sound equipment.

Is there any way that you can hook things into the dang thing and control them that way? If Echo could control my TV or the stereo system I could see me using it more.