In my previous article 2015 IOT Purchases So Far, I shared my 2015 IOT purchases (Amazon Echo, Lockitron Bolt, LUNA). My Amazon Echo is finally here after spending 6 months on Amazon’s self-imposed wait list.
Background on Amazon Echo
The device is a lot smaller in person than I thought it would be. Setup was very easy and quick. I clicked through a few setup screens with the AmazonEcho App and Alexa was ready. Honestly, I am having a lot of fun just being silly with the Echo.
Integration with connected home devices, such as the WeMo lights in my backyard, was super simple. I pressed the discovery button and, after 15 seconds, Alexa said she found 2 WeMo lights. I can now ask her to turn on/off the backyard lights.
Another feature that plays nicely with how I work is the ability to play news, information and music. Alexa will shuffle playlists from Prime Music and play news from sources including local radio stations, NPR, ESPN and TuneIn. I love having background noise when I am working so I find myself using headphones a lot less around the house. The speaker is ‘Bose’ like, the sound fills the room and the quality is nice. I almost wish I could stream Tidal hi-fi to see if the Echo’s speaker system could keep up.
I have not used Alexa to add items to my to-do list or create reminders, but I have made a few impulse purchases from Amazon Prime. The ability to shout a quick command and confirm when Alexa ask me if I am ready to purchase is addictive.
For a lower barrier of access, Amazon would have to read my thoughts or just assume I need more coconut water, which is probably coming in in a few months. Or as part of prime membership, perhaps someone will come out to my house every week, make a grocery run and restock my house while I am at work.