What is Alexa
Living in today’s world, you must have heard about Alexa at one time or another. She’s actually kind of a celebrity among people who prefer smart home environments. Well to remove the veil, Alexa’s is Amazon’s virtual assistant quite similar to how Bixby is a virtual assistant for Samsung devices. To put it another way, Alexa is to Amazon what Siri is to Apple. Alexa is available as an extended feature to a number of smart devices like Amazon Echo speakers. Currently, there are around seven different types of Alexa speakers available under Amazon’s brand name.
How does Alexa work?
All you need to do is to call out its name “Alexa” and with simple voice commands, you can ask your Echo speakers to play your favorite music, control and access your smart appliances, surf the internet for cool stuff, setup some necessary reminders and so much more. The Echo speakers come loaded with a considerably powerful microphone that can very well hear you from the other end of the room.
Setting it up is quite simple!
You can even setup multiple echo speakers in a smart home environment and upon calling out Alexa’s name, only the nearest one (the speaker that is located the closest to you) will respond thanks to the awesome ESP (Echo Spatial Feature) introduced to these devices. Note that for proper integration and connectivity of multiple Echo speakers, a dependable internet connection is a must-have. If you currently don’t have good enough internet options, then you must get spectrum internet for a smooth and seamless experience. A great feature you can enjoy with Alexa is that the intelligent AI helps her recognize different voices that might belong to various family members in a household. This allows you to setup authority settings for different smart devices and features in your household so you can be sure your children are safe. Think of it as parental control options for your smart home environment.
Amazon isn’t the only one!
The name Alexa might naturally suggest the technology comes only with Amazon Echo devices but that is not entirely the case. You cannot necessarily buy ‘Alexa’, rather you would have to have a device that uses Alexa’s abilities. Amazon itself opened up access to Alexa and this naturally means more device manufacturers will jump into the competition to prove themselves. In fact there are a number of 3rd party vendors in the market that manufacture Alexa enabled devices.
Let us look into some of the best Alexa enabled devices available in the market. First, we will look into some Amazon manufactured devices and then shed light onto some notable entries by 3rd party vendors.
Alexa enabled devices from Amazon:
Amazon Echo: Echo is the flagship product from Amazon and is the primary source of Alexa’s popularity. This device costs around $99 and is well worth the investment.
Amazon Echo Dot: As the name suggests, Echo Dot is like a rather simplistic version of the beloved Echo speakers and can be bought at almost half the price. This device would cost you around $49 and offers you the perfect start to get accustomed to Echo devices.
Amazon Echo Look: Echo Look introduces additional features to the world of Echo and offers you clothing opinions, making suggestions based on smart AI. These speakers are available at a price of $99.
Amazon Echo Plus: Echo plus adds to the functionality of your favorite Amazon Echo speakers and introduces Zigbee radio built into your device. This makes your device act not only as a speaker but as a connecting hub too. The Echo Plus is available at a price of $149.
Amazon Echo Show: The Echo Show device comes with precisely what its name suggests, an added 10-inch screen to the Amazon Echo speakers. Now you get to listen, command, and enjoy videos at the same time. Echo Show is available at a price of $230.
Alexa enabled devices from third party vendors
Anker has grown in popularity over time mostly due to the affordability factor of smart home gadgets. The company has come up with a variety of smart gadgets under the “Eufy” brand name. Eufy Genie is a recent entry in the domain of smart speakers, and can be considered a substitute to Echo Dot but will come with a $10 dollar price cut.
Much like the Dot, Genie is a small sized, voice functional, smart speaker option that enables Alexa for its operations. What’s different is that it is currently unable to make calls or send messages to other Alexa enabled devices plus it lacks the ESP features. Other than that, Genie is capable of handling everything at par with the Dot. The voice functions of the speaker itself are at par with the dot to say the least, and with the price range around $40 it sounds like quite an interesting deal.
Fabriq was actually the first to introduce off-b What is Alexa (and What’s the Best Alexa Speaker)?rand Alexa products in the market. Like Echo, Fabriq’s Chorus is another smart speaker option that can comfortably fit your budget. Being a voice activated speaker, it is capable of doing amazing things as you command Alexa to do your bidding. The battery powered functionality allows you to carry it around with you for added convenience. Once you are done using its features, simply put it back in its cradle and it will begin charging.
Fabriq also offers synchronized playback as you get to connect speakers together over a Bluetooth connection. Note that Fabriq offered multiple speaker connectivity way before Amazon introduced it in Echo so they can be considered as the pioneers. There is a minor issue – the unavailability of live calling and messaging – but at a price of $99, Fabriq Chorus doesn’t sound like a bad deal after all.
Additional features are being introduced in smart home speaker options every other day and with the growing trend among the audience towards these smart devices, the market offerings are expected to grow at a steady rate. Alexa – the voice assistant – is definitely a must-try luxury these days but keeping the statistics in mind, this luxury can very well become a necessity in the near future.