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Sound Control

Dialled in

Want to live life like Captain Picard or Arnold Rimmer? Then you’ll need the ability to control your galactic home by speaking commands to the on-board computer. Simple.

Voice control has been around for a while but in-phone apps like Siri and Corsana are pretty limited. Although Siri’s beat boxing and joke telling is kind of awesome. Test her.

Voice control has however upped it’s game and with Amazon’s US release of Echo the dream of turning your home into a space-age, hands-free basecamp is one step closer to reality.

Amazon Echo is the latest gadget from the tech giant and it seems as if no amount of cynicism is going to deter from the giant leap toward an accessible and functional voice-controlled home. Let’s get stuck in:

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Echo is a hands-free speaker you control with your voice, using a service tagged as ‘Alexa’. It plays music and provides information on; news, sports scores, weather and more, apparently all you need to do is ask. It can also control room temperature, lighting, set timers and give you train times. The list of functions is fairly extensive and Amazon appears to be adding new features every week. Let’s break it down a little further.

Capabilities

Music Compatibility: Primemusic, PANDORA, tunein, iHeartRADIO, Spotify and amazonmusic.

SmartHome Compatibility: wemo, Samsung SmartThings, hue, INSTEON and wink.

Echo Skills (applications & functions): Order Domino’s, Uber, Open your Garage with Garagio and much, much more.

Specifications

Size: 9.25” X 3.27” X 3.27”

Weight: 1.045KG

Wi-Fi Connectivity: Dual-band, Dual-antenna Wi-Fi for less drop-outs.

Blue Tooth Connectivity: Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) support for audio streaming from your mobile device and Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) for voice control of connected mobile devices.

Audio: 2.5” woofer and 2.0 inch tweeter

What does all this mean?

Well for a start, there’s a lot of sophisticated tech in a small, sleek gadget (all for the accessible price of only $179.99).

The downside?

Echo hasn’t crossed the Atlantic and Amazon has confirmed that there’s no UK release date in sight.

I’d never considered I wanted to talk to my home until I started reading up on the Echo. It feels like a glimpse into the future and I like what I see.

I guess the reason for Amazon’s delay is that the UK is a bit behind the US when it comes to smart homes, and this app only truly fulfils it’s potential when used with smart home technology.

Check the Echo in all its awesomeness here.

 

Up to speed

Thanks for the review. Sounds good. Perhaps there are data protection issues or other regulatory factors which are impeding a UK release.

Dialled in

You could easily be right Dave, it's difficult to know their reasoning for not even having a UK launch date in the pipeline, sure hope they hurry it up though!

Superfast

Wow, that's cool! 😊 Reasonable price too, although going by other products it will probably be a lot more expensive here.

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