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Amazon Echo for Your Home

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The Amazon Echo is Amazon's first foray into the voice activated, smart home speaker system, with innovative features. It's practical, and accessible, and has already overtaken other manufacturers like Logitech, Bose, and Sonos, accounting for more than 25 percent of all speaker sales in 2015. The Amazon Echo has a rapidly growing skill set, as Amazon releases updates that make it more impressive and useful.

Amazon Echo is more than just a speaker; it is something akin to a personal assistant. You can ask Amazon Echo about morning headlines, recent episodes of your favorite podcasts, enable a timer, as well as take advantage of Amazon Echo's capabilities of integrating with other smart products like light bulbs – a via the power of your voice. Initially debuted as an invite-only product, Amazon Echo has cut into the smart home market with many already loyal to Amazon Echo's capabilities.

The setup of Amazon Echo is straightforward. After placing it in your desired location, the speakers connect to your Wi-Fi network with the power of the Alexa app. Amazon Echo will then automatically wake up whenever you say "Alexa". Seven noise canceling microphones allow Amazon Echo to hone in on your voice, even in moderately noisy conditions. Amazon Echo's capabilities grow as Amazon continuously releases new facilities to make it more intuitive. You can order an Uber, even order pizza, or stream music straight from your favorite music applications. Alexa's voice is clear and pristine as it utilizes speakers that promise 360 degrees sound. In an age of app-enabled connectivity, Amazon Echo encapsulates the consumer's wants for a smart home that won't require a heavy investment.

Amazon Echo Dot

The Amazon Echo Dot is more of a "lite" version of the original Amazon Echo. At a more affordable price point, the Amazon Echo Dot bridges those who may be a bit hesitant of smart home technologies and are curious about the powers of Alexa. Amazon Echo Dot is not a stand-alone speaker like the first Amazon Echo, as it requires an external speaker source. The Amazon Echo Dot carries the same basic functionality of the Echo, with untethered access to Alexa, your personal assistant. It just requires additional hardware when compared to Amazon's product lineup of voice-activated commodities.

Introducing Amazon's Artificial Intelligence – Alexa

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Alexa cloud-based technologies allow it comprehend and resolve questions and commands. The speakers on the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Echo Dot are always on the lookout for your voice after you say her name – "Alexa". Even though Alexa's initial skill set was restrained to only Amazon's products, Amazon has already expanded Alexa's capabilities to other popular platforms like Pandora and Spotify.

Alexa's skills have become even more intuitive with the release of Alexa Skills Kit. This gives hardware makers the ability to integrate with their Wi-Fi/Internet connected devices. This greatly expands Alexa's application – it can now interact and expand its capabilities with the help of third-party apps and hardware. Amazon has dedicated more than $100 million to fund Alexa, using the capital to invest in manufacturers, developers, and startups that have Alexa's skill set in mind.

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