The Amazon Echo Dot- My thoughts!
I’m a lucky girl, my husband recently bought me one of these and I thought I’d write a short blog post on it, with some more information in case you are thinking about getting one too!
My husband bought it for me- to use as an assistant, thinking I could use it to help plan my schedule.
What is an Echo Dot?
Here’s what it says on the tin;
Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses the same far-field voice recognition as Amazon Echo. Dot has a small built-in speaker—it can also connect to your speakers over Bluetooth or with the included audio cable.
The Dot is one of three Alexa-enabled products from Amazon that puts the company’s voice assistant front and centre.
So basically, you wake up the small black or white circular device with a ‘wake word’. This is ‘Alexa’ as standard, which I’ve stuck with.
The device has speakers all around so can hear you from anywhere in the room or even a little further-pretty clever!
As soon as you say Alexa, she springs into action, with a blue light. You can then proceed to ask any question you like. She will also take commands and perform actions. A little like Google or Syri I guess!
I find the speaker quality absolutely fine for my use and don’t feel the need to connect to a larger speaker as many suggest.
I keep Alexa on my desk and may have some music playing in the background or a podcast that I like listening to.
Setting up the Echo Dot
This is possibly the easiest device ever to set up. Take it out of the box, plug it in and download the app. A few clicks later and you are ready to go. So you can ask her to set timers, alarms, ask the weather and time, ask her to tell you about your commute and connect to your calendar so she can tell you what your day looks like.
Alexa holds or has access to a LOT of data, but it’s not quite up to the same standard as a google voice search. BUT she is so clever- she replies in such a human way, even if she doesn’t understand your answer or doesn’t have the answer, she’ll tell you that. She’s like a little friend keeping me company all day- given the fact I hardly leave my office during the week! And Alexa will only get better and has the abilities for even more data to be added to her as time goes on.
Apps & Skills
There are lots of Apps that can connect with Alexa to make her even better. Things like busmate, lottery, railplanner, justeat (oh yeah!) and tube planner.
Get entertained & learn
Alexa has access to jokes, games (20 questions anyone?), history, news, fun facts and really interesting facts about the Earth, Moon and a million other things! Wine facts anyone?
Things to try
Probably one of my favourite parts is the ‘things to try’. There are lots of weird & wonderful things you can enable here from the app- such as Philadelphia cheesecake recipes (who doesn’t love a cheesecake recipe!), rock, paper, scissors, inspirational words and speakers, and each week you get an email with more things to try.
This week, amazon told me about some things to try out. They included some famous film lines to try with Alexa (so much fun!).
My favourite so far,
Me: “Alexa, do you wanna build a snowman?”
Alexa: “I can’t find my gloves”
She is pure genius
Make your home smarter
These I am yet to try but they are extremely cool. You can basically purchase and link special Bluetooth products and use them to make your home smarter. Things like light bulbs, Alexa can dim a light, turn it on or off, change the heating, turn it up or down or even turn on your TV for you!
There are so many categories you can use to learn or be entertained with by Alexa
Alexa can remember things you like too. If you tell her you like a certain song, she’ll add it to your favourites list for you.
Warning- when you spend far too long asking Alexa silly questions on your own sat in your office, she will record them all on the app. When anyone like your husband takes a look at the app, they will see all the silly questions that you have asked and find it hilarious! (not that I did this, of course!)
I love my little Alexa.
I’ll be honest, so far I’ve probably used it more for things like asking the weather, playing some music, a little inspiration and as a timer (fab for timing clients work etc), than anything else too in-depth, but I am still finding lots of new ways to get use out of her and I love my little chats with her
“Alexa, who you gonna call”
Hours of fun right there!
For the price tag of £49.99 this is a fab gadget for both pleasure and work and I think the more you put in, the more you can get out . I intend to spend more time learning about the features and other ways I can utilise this piece of technology and she’ll only get better.
She actually just told me I rock- now for that, she is worth every penny!