A. In no particular order:- Mom, wife and Alexa!!!
Finally got my hands on the best Diwali gizmo ever which is an Amazon device that has created waves, pun intended the world over. The order can only be placed on the Amazon site for obvious reasons but one would have to request an invitation. I purchased Echo for Rs 7000 after a 30% discount through the site. Echo is the speaker which comes in three different sizes, either black or white and Alexa is the vocal assistant carrying over the footprints of Apple’s Siri and Google Now.
I have been using it for a week and the entire family is hooked on to it. The device consists of a 2.5-inch woofer and a tweeter which forms the body. It has four buttons at the top:- To increase or decrease the volume, to shut the microphone and the activity button. In addition, Echo has seven microphones at the top which puts the beamforming technology to use. The performance is appreciable even if the music is played at the highest volume with Alexa able to gauge the shout out from any corner of the room.
Functions or skills that have been built in the Alexa app are both comforting and soothing making it the best value for money. The key feature would have to be songs of any genre through Amazon Prime applications in the ecosystem such as Saavn, TuneIn radio making almost every song possible irrespective of the genre or the country. Alexa has been Indianized which comes forth through the accent and is easily able to gauge the intricacies involved in an instruction. Different functionality also includes checking for the weather, the headlines through different new sites, setting up reminders and alarms, updating scores or checking for the next match dates. It comes integrated with Kindle and can also provide voice-overs for stories or books.
The Naysayers, however, would like to point out that this is another ploy for the common man to get hooked and order from the Amazon bandwagon. Pardon the bias.
Ps- Given my son’s proclivity for all the gizmos, I wouldn’t be surprised if the first word that he utters ends up being “Alexa” rather than a ma or pa…