I’ve had the Amazon Echo sitting on my desk for the last couple of months and it’s an odd device – and I actually think it’s pretty great.
It’s a voice-controlled, speaker-cum-shopping tube that can go in your kitchen, living room or bedroom. You use it for simple queries like, “How’s the weather?” or “How is my commute? or “What is Barack Obama’s middle name?”
Listen to me interact with this device on this week’s edition of Kahney’s Korner.
The Amazon Echo is just now available to the public, costing $179 or $99 for Prime subscribers. (Update: The price for Prime subscribers is now $179.)
Of all the things you can command it to do, I found it to be the best and easiest way to play music from a bunch of different services like Amazon Prime, TuneIn Radio or Pandora and, of course, it’s a shopping device to order and reorder things you get from Amazon.
It can even control smart devices in your home. It has its limits but for the things it does, it is completely reliable and gets it right every single time.
But it got me thinking what if Apple did this with Siri and Home Kit and you had a device that could be integrated into a whole bunch of services you already use like Apple Music, your calendar, email and text. It is a really reliable and non-frustrating voice-activated interface.
If Apple brought this to Siri and the home, it would be completely Amazing.