May 24, 2017

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo

Amazon Alexa is a great audible assistance tool that can be used as an entertainment device as well as a productivity tool.

How Echo Works

You simply ask Alexa for information and she will perform that task. For example, You can have Alexa turn on your Wemo devices.

You can have multiple Alexa devices in your house with different names. However, only one device can interact with Alexa at a time. This means you can't be in the Living Room asking for the weather and someone else wants to use the other Alexa to check the time.

Some Basic Commands

  • Alexa, What time is it?
  • Alexa, What's the weather today?
  • Alexa, How many days until Christmas?
  • Alexa, Tell me a Joke.

Some Productivity Commands

  • Alexa, remind me in 5 minutes to leave for work
  • Alexa, ask Rain Sounds to loop (Other noises are available)
  • Alexa, what's the traffic like today?
  • Alexa, inspire me

Fun for Kindergarten Kids

Alexa can be a great educational tool. Here are some ways that kids can have fun learning with Alexa:

  • Alexa, what time is it?
  • Alexa, how do you spell CAT?
  • Alexa, play a game
  • Alexa, Roll two dice
  • Alexa, Play Rock, Paper, Scissors
  • Alexa, what is a dollar?
  • Alexa, How many days until New Years Eve?
  • Alexa, Good Morning. (Learn something new about today.)

Alexa Always Listening?

There are some people that think having Alexa means that someone is always listening in on private conversations. This was the same issue that some security people had when Apple Siri first came out.

Police investigating a murder in Bentonville, Arkansas has issued a warrant to Amazon.com to have them turn over any audio and other recordings that were done with the Echo. Amazon has refused to comply with the warrant.

The police want to know if the Echo recorded the suspect voice, which would prove that he was there at the time of the crime.

The issue was resolved as the suspect, Jason Bates has voluntarily handed over the recording. (Which are available in the Amazon Alexa App)

Lots of Fun!

There's a lot of practical things to do with Alexa. It certainly would make a great Father's Day gift. You can get the Echo on Amazon, Target, Staples or Best Buy.

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