Those of you who like to keep up with all the latest innovations in tech will be happy to hear that the intelligent speaker from Amazon is set to be released in the UK. The Echo speaker has been a big hit in the US since 2014 and is now due to make its way across the pond and into your home.
This speaker is the answer to having to get up from your comfy sofa in order to press play or find the remote for your stereo as it plays music on demand. So long as you’re signed up to a streaming service like Spotify or Amazon Prime, you’ll be able to listen to your favourite tunes just by telling the speaker what you want to hear – kind of like a super lazy jukebox.
It also means you get to enjoy 360–degree sound, due to the cool cylindrical shape of the device. So whether you want to create a party atmosphere or are hoping for something a little romantic, the Echo will fit the bill.
As if music on demand wasn’t enough, it has a number of other features that will mean you don’t need to reach for laptop or smartphone as often. If you don’t feel like trolling through web pages, simply ask your speaker for the latest news, weather and traffic updates. In fact, it can respond to almost any question if you want to remove the hard work from Googling something.
A Saturday night in front of TV will get a lot easier soon too, as third party app integration will mean you can order your takeout without having to move – just make sure you know what’s on the menu first!
All of this can be achieved simply by starting your request with ‘Hi Alexa’. You might think that this is a little bit creepy and that having a faceless, voice-activated device around the house may not be the safest thing – we’ve all seen how Skynet started out in the Terminator films – but you don’t need to be concerned.
Your speaker won’t suddenly turn into a Transformer or start broadcasting anything it has heard onto the net, as it only transmits anything to the internet when it hears its name. If you want to ensure the safety of your data further or avoid the speaker searching for any random phrases by accident, you can mute the microphones completely.
Other smart fixtures and appliances throughout your home can also be connected to the Echo, so you can voice activate more and more things in your house. This could make everyday chores much easier and save you huge amounts of time.
Many homes are starting to become connected, so it looks like Amazon’s device is just the next step. Are you embracing more technology in your home or you still wary that this could bring about a robot uprising?