I wrote about Amazon Echo a few months back. At the time, I did not have it, but was looking forward to using it. Now, that I have had Echo for a while I have a better idea of its strengths and weaknesses.
It doesn’t pick up every word I say, but its voice recognition is much better than I anticipated. The app works nicely on my phone and iPad and I found it easy to link Pandora, my music, and to indicate what news channels I want to hear from. I enjoy getting the weather report, listening to a flash news briefing, adding items to my shopping list, listening to music, and being informed of the best route to work to avoid traffic.
My favorite feature is that it is hands-free. I’m constantly running around my house juggling a lot of things. Often I need an answer to a question, I need to add something to a shopping list as I’m cooking, or I want to hear a certain song as I’m elbow-deep in a project. Having the ability to just “say the words” is wonderful. Now if it just worked everything…
I hope updates will come soon though as I’d like to see increased functionality in its ability to answer questions and provide traffic information for different locations other than the one location I can program into the app. I also want to be able to make calls and send text messages using Echo.
In my first post about Amazon Echo, I stated I was really interested in the device as an information retrieval tool. Currently, Echo doesn’t work as well as I was expecting for retrieving information, but with software updates I still see it (and similar tools) having an impact on our research.
Overall, I see it as a device that has amazing potential, but it is still in its infancy.
Has anyone else used Echo? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the device.