Amazon Echo, a voice controlled wireless speaker was announced by the company on Thursday. The full-time personal assistant is named Alexa awaits instructions from the users ranging from basic tasks like playing radio to shopping on Amazon.
Amazon Echo remembers the user’s credit card details that can be used to buy products in an instant though the feature can be turned off. subscribers of Amazon Prime can avail the Echo service at $99 while it is priced at $199 for normal customers. The speaker has not been listed for sale yet while wager fans can request an invitation. Kindley Pearsell, an Amazon spokesperson mentioned that the invitations speakers would be shipped after invitations that will be sent “in the coming weeks”.
The service is similar to Google Now and Siri that comes with a speaker and the microphone always remains on for receiving commands. If the user asks the service to add a product in the wish list it is automatically shown in the smartphone app. The Echo app will be released for Android and Fire OS phones and to iOS n the future. The speaker has the ability to stream music via Bluetooth and can source music from Tunein Radio. The assistant can also answer questions by sourcing information from Wikipedia.
Echo features noise cancellation feature and comes with seven microphones that picks up voice from any direction. The speaker has a good output as there is a 2-inch tweeter and a 2.5-inch woofer. Pearsall mentioned that “Alexa” was inspired by the ancient library of Alexandria. In 1999, Amazon has acquired Alexa, an internet database company that tracks internet traffic.
In 2013, Amazon had acquired Ivona, a speech synthesis software company that helped in the development of Echo which has been under development for the last four years. The service was codenamed Doppler and Project D during the development.
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