Amazon Alexa By My Smart Gadget / April 10, 2017 Share 2 Pin 1 Share 1 Amazon Alexa is basically the AI which powered the Amazon Echo and act as a voice control system for users. It is a tall cylinder speaker of about 9.25 inch or 23.5 cm with a seven piece of microphone array. Amazon Alexa is powered through Amazon Echo, an Amazon Smart Speaker that essentially marked the arrival of a device that can truly be call as an AI virtual assistant. Alexa is also used primarily in the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Tap, Fire TV and Fire Tablet. Alexa was named based on the ancient library of Alexandria. By looking at the origin name, you would have bet that Amazon have that objective in mind to position Alexa as the hub for knowledge in the form of a virtual assistant. ARRIVAL OF AN AI VIRTUAL ASSISTANT If you are not familiar what an AI virtual assistant is, it is mostly similar to Jarvis in Iron Man movies. Even though Amazon Alexa is nowhere near as smart as Jarvis, it has all the makings of becoming a great ‘must have’ function in the future. The amazing thing of having an AI in a smart speaker is that it is not tied to a mobile phone. The disadvantage of having an AI such as Siri in iPhone is that you must activate it first and then speak directly unto the phone. It still does not have that natural feeling of having a virtual assistant where you can immediately ask for help during any situation that you have. This gives the users the ability to move around naturally in your home and the same time able to give out commands to Amazon Echo similar as Tony Stark asking and giving questions to Jarvis in the Iron Man movies. HOW DOES AMAZON ALEXA WORKS? Amazon Echo works by connecting Alexa AI via voice service to play certain functions such as playing music, playing radio as well gives out information as requested via user’s voice request. The information provided can be news, weather, stock market news, sports and many more. Amazon plans to put the Amazon Echo as a central hub for the integration of a smart home. All you have to do as a user is just ask. The Amazon Echo have seven microphone and beam forming technology which helps to hear you even if you are across the room or even when there is background noise. You can activate Amazon Echo by calling the word “Alexa” and Echo will respond immediately. So, imagine you just enter your house, you want to turn up the light, you can just say .. “Alexa, turn on the light” and the light turns on like magic. You need however a smart light bulb as well to do this. Check out the link here (Affiliates link) for a smart light bulb that integrates well with Amazon Alexa. And as similar as what you often see in science fiction movie, you can also ask Alexa to turn on the TV and music as you sat relax in your chair. Among other Amazon Echo function is that you can use to control the thermostats, fans, garage doors, water sprinklers and other compatible connected devices. And in addition to connected device, Amazon Alexa is also getting smarter by third party apps that adds to the skill in the Amazon Echo. This includes calling an Uber using Amazon Alexa or making Amazon Alexa as your assistant chef during your cooking. New skills are being added all the time making Amazon Echo more useful in your daily life. WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH AMAZON ALEXA So, let list down the potential things you can do with Amazon Echo and how Alexa can further improve the quality of your life. 1. Entertainment – Hear music by linking Alexa to your Spotify account. You can then request Alexa to play any music that you want. 2. Smart Homes – Install smart lightings such as Phillip Hue and smart thermostat such as Nest and connect it to your Amazon Echo 3. Order Food Delivery – You can immediately order pizza using Amazon Alexa by linking your Domino’s pizza account. 4. Order Transportation – Link up your Uber account to Alexa and you can immediately as Alexa to order you a car 5. Kitchen helper – You can use Alexa to download recipes as you are cooking in the kitchen. You can also ask Alexa to teach you how to cook a certain recipe. Campbell’s Kitchen Skill is one the Alexa skills that can assist you on this. 6. Personal Trainer – You can use Alexa as a workout instructor as you start your daily fitness exercise. Alexa can also suggest to you what type of exercise that you required based on your needs and habits. So, this is just a few examples of what Amazon Alexa can do for you. Based on the trends, more and more skills will be developed for Alexa in the future. The potential for Amazon Alexa can only get bigger as we will entering a period of Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things.