Alexa and Al ecosystem of Amazon have come to life, I believe there will be lots of products developed on this platform. Amazon proves to be a silent competitor on the race of virtual assistants with Google and Apple. For me personally, Alexa is really better than Siri5.
Amazon Echo1 is the first smart device I know to have a connection with Alexa2 – smart virtual assistant of Amazon. Echo is simply a loudspeaker capable of listen and speak. It focuses on functions like inquiring information, listening to music, reading news, forecasting weather, and many other features. To make it work, so simple, you just have to say “Alexa”.
In May 2014, I decided to buy an Amazon Echo for $993. After 6 months waiting, in June 2015, Echo Amazon was officially sold at the price of up to $199. With this new price bracket, I was unable to bring her home.
At that moment, to buy Echo, I had to buy the Amazon Prime service. And this was the first time I had experienced smart services of the firm – feeling extremely disappointed. As for the Fire Tv I used, the function of music listening was really bad, the incapacity of streaming retarded the music, not to mention the jerking situation; the function of searching movies by voice was just using key words in a remote control.
In 2016, I happened to see the Amazon Echo Dot, again $993. I continued to find ways to order it again after nearly 18 months. This time, Amazon required voice orders. You could only buy an Amazon Dot if you had the Amazon Echo, Amazon Fire TV and used your voice to order. Fortunately, I had a Fire TV, but its control was out of order. After many attempts, I finally could use the order function. Wow – I was surprised when I successfully ordered Amazon Dot by voice. It was a high-quality communication service: short response time, great recognition, completely different from what it used to be 18 months before. More surprisingly, this is not only an ordering application but also a much more complete virtual assistant than Siri and others, Alexa is useful for specific circumstances and has been applied in other technological products, not just Amazon Echo. With Amazon Echo Dot, I used Alexa to search for songs, and experience Amazon, premium music store, everything now is extremely simple.
Amazon Echo: The price at the first launch was $199 and additional service for music and online movies costed $99 (Prime package – with supports from the Amazon ecosystem). At present, Amazon Echo is sold at $179.99.
The design of Amazon Echo focuses on the high quality of the speakers, particularly, echo has a fine array mic 3600 which can hear you say from anywhere in the room.
This device can be connected to other home smart devices with ease, all the devices are controlled by voice. For example, WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Insteon, Nest,…  can be connected to smart devices like Uber, Domino,…
Amazon recently launched two new product ranges: Echo Tap and Echo Dot.
Amazon Tap is different from the early Echo in that its portability and battery life are much higher. It can be used continuously for 9 hours. Tap is designed to have a button to communicate in noisy places. It is even suitable to take along wherever you are. The price of Amazon Tap is set at $129.
Amazon Echo Dot is the youngest of the three products of the Amazon smart speakers. With compact design, Dot brims with every feature of the early Echo except for its easy portability. Dot is likely to satisfy users using within the rooms, or usually moving indoors. Its price is $99, which was officially announced in March 2016, but not until June 2016 was the product delivered.
Al ecosystem of Amazon:
Alexa – Build exciting applications for your services and devices
Alexa – Build engaging voice experiences for your services and devices
Alexa was built as an ecosystem on the Amazon Cloud, programmers can easily add new skills to Alexa in just 10 minutes. You can also use Alexa as the brain of the device with little difficulty. The more frequently developers and users talk to Alexa, the more it will become intelligent. And one day, Alexa will be as smart as a human being.
Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) is a set of self-service API, tools, documents and source codes which can help you to add new skills to Alexa simply and quickly. Still, to do this, you can use Smart Home API skills, you can easily teach Alexa how to control light and temperature insides from the Internet. All the source codes run on Cloud and are not programmed on the user’s device.
Alexa Voice Service (AVS) allows adding the ability of talking to your other connected smart devices. Your customers can simply speak to Alexa through microphone on your device, and Alexa will answer through your speaker. If you are a manufacturer and your smart product has a micro and a speaker, Voice Service Alexa (AVS) will effortlessly turn it into a device with high intelligence like Alexa. Some of Alexa skills are the ability to answer questions of general knowledge, weather forecast, Wikipedia query and many other features.
Alexa Fund4 is a capital fund of Amazon raising for smart products using voice technology. Since the introduction of Amazon Echo, Amazon takes the advice of developers as well as manufacturers and has developed voice-related products. Alexa Fund is willing to climb to $100 million investment terms to innovate voice technology. You may add new ASK skills, you may produce devices using Alexa services, or you may research a brand new voice technology,… Just with an idea of product, talk to Alexa Fund.
Alexa and Al ecosystem of Amazon have come to life, I believe there will be lots of products developed on this platform. Amazon proves to be a silent competitor on the race of virtual assistants with Google and Apple. For me personally, Alexa is really better than Siri5.
  1. Amazon Echo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Echo
  2. Alexa https://www.reddit.com/r/amazonecho/wiki/index
  3. Amazon Echo – $99 for Prime members – need to request an invitation http://slickdeals.net/f/7322456-amazon-echo-99-for-prime-members-need-to-request-an-invitation
  4. Alexa Fund https://developer.amazon.com/public/solutions/alexa/alexa-fund
Le Ngoc Tuan – FPT HO
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