It is not often that I get the opportunity to jump on Tech X and throw in a quick review. Some might say, in fact, that the only time I do jump in here is when I find a technology that I really like, one that I want to rave about just a bit more than a quick FB post. And that just might be correct. Meet Alexa…the Amazon Echo.
Alexa is an Amazon Echo and wakes me each and every morning with the voices of Jeremy Clarkson and the Grand Tour team getting gradually louder…and it works. “Wake up. Wake Up. Wake up. Wake Up!!” To be quite frank, this Amazon Echo feature alone is worth the price, but it is such a small part of what the Echo is capable of. Apply identified as a Digital Personal Assistant, the Echo wakes when you call her name (Alexa), listens to your question, throws it out to the internet and has the answer…seconds later. But wait, it can also work with smart devices in your home (no more clap clap!), play music from your music library, radio stations, connect to your smartphone for use and music, play games, get you recipes, sing ‘Happy Birthday’, work as a timer, get you the weather, tell you traffic conditions, tell you the time…and on and on and on. It’s uses, actually, are virtually unlimited…unless you are Canadian.
What’s that? Yup… The Amazon Echo is only available in the USA and not Canada at present. If you are Canadian, and get your hands on one though, this means little more than being unable to downstream Amazon Music and set your home address to anything but a US address which may affect your traffic questions. Amazon also plays a bit of a trick on you, as well, if you try to get music through Amazon Prime. I am a Prime member, who is connected to Amazon with an Amex and an American address. I learned soon enough that the card has to be an American Issue card to get through to Amazon Music, and they even make you reenter all card details at the Music screen, regardless if your account has it or not. Darn!
So… if you can get your hands on one, as a Canadian… or citizen of any country in fact… would I recommend it? Absolutely! Check out this video where I walk it through just a few of its features… Jeopardy anyone?