Amazon Echo

Discussion in 'Smartphones, Computers, Gaming and Networking' started by jasn, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. jasn

    jasn Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    Anyone else ask for an invitation to purchase this new device called Amazon Echo Only $99 for Prime members.
  2. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll HTT Refugee Donor War Zone Member

    It looks pretty cool and it's fairly small. OTOH, that argues against using the music function for anything more than just background. I'm not usually a first or even early adopter, but for $99 it might be worth taking a flyer on.
  3. John F

    John F Active Member War Zone Member

    I clicked the button for the invitation, but I'm not sure I'll buy it. I'm guessing the invitation is so they can gauge interest (seems like they were overwhelmed by the Voyage and Stick).

    The voice control could be nice. I could picture walking into the room and say "Alexa, I want to watch TV", but than it would need to talk to my Harmony. :)
  4. jasn

    jasn Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    I agree with both of you about this being "near-novelty" in value. However, for $99 it may come in handy sometimes. The speaker system looks pretty interesting. It may actually be a pretty good background music device.

    They say it has a learning capability, getting more and more used to your voice. Does that mean it would only listen to me and not my wife? Wife: "Echo, what's today's weather?" Echo" "You're not the boss of me..." That'd be worth a Franklin all by itself to hear that.
  5. chad

    chad Well-Known Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    Looks like iOS 8's "Hey Siri" with better sound quality to me. I've not used it (Hey Siri) but that's were my mind went.
  6. Drew

    Drew Well-Known Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    So is this a repackaging of the fire phones they can't sell?
  7. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll HTT Refugee Donor War Zone Member

    Has anyone received and invitation yet?
  8. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll HTT Refugee Donor War Zone Member

    BTW, shouldn't this thread be in the Computers & Networking lounge?
  9. Max Yokell

    Max Yokell Well-Known Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    Got my invite a few days ago. It expires after 7 days and I just got another email letting me know mine expires on Friday so I went ahead and ordered one.

    est shipping is in May-July time frame. Price is $199 but only 99 for prime members.

    i may end up canceling but kind of think it looks like a neat nightstand device.
  10. Blake

    Blake Member War Zone Member

    I've got one. So far it's a novelty. My kids love it, but my oldest is missing his front two teeth so it's not picking up what he's saying. Pretty handy device that doesn't do much. Definitely a v1.0 device. I like it, the music sounds surprisingly good.

    Lots of potential though - like a first shot in the home automation wars.

    I'd be happy to answer any questions you guys have.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2015
  11. Max Yokell

    Max Yokell Well-Known Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    So some people actually have one I thought this was some sort of pre-order thing and they said shipment in May-July time frame.

    So do you think as a nightstand alarm clock/music player with some interesting bonus features it is a good deal?

  12. jasn

    jasn Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    Glad you like it Blake. After reading some of the reviews and learning of it's limitations, besides not being sure where I'd put it, I'm gonna pass on this model.
  13. Blake

    Blake Member War Zone Member

    Max, mine is in the living room. As of right now you can only set a single alarm, but other than that I think it would be great for the bedside. It is a totally adequate speaker for that, and frankly it does an admirable job of filling my living room (17x31ish, 8' ceilings).

    I could see having it wake you up and then telling it to play NPR or espn radio as you get ready in the morning.

    I don't know what their plan is re: people having multiples in the house but I like it out where we spend most of our time so that everyone can use the to do list, etc.

    I've been working on sync'ing my iTunes music library (45kish songs) with Amazon so that I know what music is available. Amazon prime music is pretty sparse and this is something that I would actually consider subscribing to spotify or something for.

    My wife and I were talking about it last night - my kids are definitely not going to know what a written encyclopedia is - and my oldest was asking it simple math problems last night so as it matures he might not even have to learn how to do proper research on a computer. (Exaggerating, but you know what I mean).

    I got my invite before Xmas and was told it would ship before New Years. That slipped 10ish days.

    For $99 (prime membership) I feel it is well worth it and will be following the development of further iterations closely.

    The app gives you feedback (shows what you've asked and asks to validate some words it's not sure of) so with the masses doing that the voice recognition should get better still.

    As I said, its a toy at this point but it's a really cool device that doesn't DO much. But I'm ok with that for what it does do.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll HTT Refugee Donor War Zone Member

    I got my invite last week and placed the order. Delivery estimate is for June/July.
  15. capsuleri

    capsuleri Well-Known Member War Zone Member

    IMO a potentially dangerous listening snoop device!!!
  16. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    I got the later invite so I won't be getting mine for a while. Not sure how useful it would be but my wife wanted one after seeing the commercial. The problem I see is all these fractured ecosystems. I don't want to sync my music to Amazon. Its all already either purchased from Apple or loaded into iTunes, sanitized, tagged, and uploaded to iCloud to be accessed on any iDevice via iTunes match. I've gone to great lengths to keep this all consolidated including (laugh if you will) deleting some old CD rips that wouldn't match and buying the tracks from Apple so EVERYTHING would be included in the cloud. I was also gifted some music from Amazon and I downloaded the MP3s, put them in iTunes, converted them to Apple format, then when they were matched in the cloud, I deleted the Amazon tracks and downloaded the original iTunes ones so no double compression. So yeah.

    The thing that's going to bug me is when you say "Echo, remind me to buy milk" where does that reminder go? An Amazon Echo app? If so, I don't find that useful. I want it to go in my iOS reminders app or it does me no good. My guess is, my wife being less technical, these inherent limitations didn't occur to her.
  17. Shane

    Shane Active Member

    Helps drowned out the noise the black helicopters flying above your house make
  18. Blake

    Blake Member War Zone Member

    CJ -- all good points that I'm working through. I too have all music in iTunes, tagged and flagged properly. I found a couple of third party apps that will allow background syncing of the itunes folder with amazon -- one way only. Ultimately took 15 minutes to set up, and it is still sync'ing (or was this AM). That's a small price to pay (IMHO) for the access to my music.

    It does all aggregate into the echo app -- but I'm not using the to-do, etc. So far (v1.0) I've used it more of a informative device than anything -- 'whats the weather going to be, play music, etc' rather than to-do or voice ordering (turned that off so my kids don't figure that out).

    I agree that this will end up probably being a walled garden of its own, but it hasn't been an issue in the 5 days I've had it. Honestly I don't do too much of the to do list type stuff anyway, instead using text msg between my wife and I to have a living doc of what we have planned. Access to my calendar would be cool, and the ability to send a text would be great (since it is connected to wifi it should be able to send a text to something like an apple id.)

    There's a ton of potential that I can see. It doesn't *do* much now, but they are constantly adding features / improving (judging by the never ending thread on amazon's forums) and I see the future state of this (or something similar) as a gateway to the further connected life (the internet of everything like the other thread)
  19. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    Yeah, I think honestly what my wife wants is a Siri version of this. We'll try it and if its a bust I'll sell it.
  20. Max Yokell

    Max Yokell Well-Known Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    I Just got word mine will be shipping on June 15th or so and the more I think about it, I am thinking I might just cancel my order. It sounded cool but my phone can handle all the search and alarm functions and a blue tooth speaker could do stereo and likely sound better and be more portable.

    What are the good reasons to to get one of these again?

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