Amazon Echo - Siri thing from Amazon because their phone bombed


#1

Invitation only. $199 or $99 for Prime members

Amazon Echo is designed around your voice. It's always on—just ask for information, music, news, weather, and more. Echo begins working as soon as it hears you say the wake word, "Alexa." It's also an expertly-tuned speaker that can fill any room with immersive sound.


#2

Alexa, how popular is this website?

This is the dumbest thing ever, unless somehow they’ve cracked natural language processing and didn’t sell the tech to the US military. The only use case is if you really want Siri or Google Now, are willing to pay $200 for it. but don’t have a smartphone. Who is that person? Why would you get this instead of a Fire TV?


#3

It appeals to the Star Trek geek in me (since I’m assuming you can change the code word to ‘Computer’), but I still find it a little ridiculous.

The video is bordering on awkward. I almost fell out of my seat laughing when the kid comes in and asks Alexa to play some rock music.


#4

Echo…are you capable of human love? I mean…are you FULLY functional?

ECHO SELF DESTRUCT SEQUENCE INITIATED! ECHO NO LONGER WISHES TO FUNCTION!

Echo…play some Barry White.


#5

$99 buck seems super cheap, just to have a decent voice-activated speaker.


#6

“Play music by Bruno Mars.”

“Fuck you.”


#7

If it’s a [I]good[/I] bluetooth speaker, that’s a perfectly reasonable price and I might even buy one.

$99, not $199, though. At $199 there needs to be a hole for me to put my penis.


#8

Well that would be just awkward. I mean, why would you need to have something external for holding your penis? It’s not like you’d need to have it out for any reason other than urinating and…

…ooooooohhhhhhhhhh.


#9

As someone who has had real hit and miss experiences with voice command tech, this is a definite pass for me. I mumble way too much. “Siri call mom”…“Looking up info on the moon”. “Siri call my wife”…“Calling Hilary (not my wife) now”…it goes on and on.


#10

Are you… are you going to kickstart that?


#11

No, I pride myself on my upper-body strength.


#12

They need to do better with the language recognition in these things. As soon as I have to stop and repeat myself it’s already become irritating. I’d rather just type and search.

Otherwise, I’d love to be able to talk to the house computer and have it understand me. “Computer, I’m in the mood for a new turn-based strategy game, maybe something with a sci-fi setting. What seems to be good that’s come out over the last year?” I want to be able to talk to it like that, just as if I started a thread with that question on Qt3.

Also, about the music, it says this: “Listen to your Amazon Music Library, Prime Music, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio.” What about Pandora, Spotify, iTunes, etc.? Shouldn’t I be able to say, “Alexa, put on my Pandora blues station.” I also want, just to be puckish, to tell it to search Target.com for good online deals.


#13

You’re conflating the voice recognition part with mystically good search heuristics. Most of the stuff you mentioned, if typed directly into Google, wouldn’t get you anything too useable. Even perfect voice recognition wouldn’t fix that.


#14

I don’t know, I put in: “I’m in the mood for a new turn-based strategy game, maybe something with a sci-fi setting. What seems to be good that’s come out over the last year?”"

and Google came back with http://store.steampowered.com/app/253150/ as the first result.

I would say that is pretty spot on.


#15

Parody video in no time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GijLoiVkmYI

I think this is a $199 instead of $599 Jibo. They’re losing the camera and facial recognition and open developer platform, so it’s nothing to me.

Jibo promises having an app store, where anybody can write apps to do anything via voice control. Essentially making Siri/Cortana completely end user extensible. Now THAT is worth money to me, because I can make it do what I want.


#16

The voice control isn’t that novel, as Google Now’s pretty much leading the field in being able to do mountains of useful stuff just by talking to it… But the addition of a good speaker and omnidirectional microphone for use makes it kind of interesting.

I think I’d rather have Google make one though.


#17

For $100 I’d get one just to replace my crappy alarm clock / radio.


#18

This thing is dead on arrival, regardless if it’s at $199 or $99.


#19

Like stusser said, if the speaker quality is good, then the Echo would at a minimum be worth $99.

My standard for BT speakers is the TDK A33, which supports the AAC audio codec, so the Echo would need to equal or surpass it.


#20

Yep, the Wirecutter recommendations for budget home bluetooth and portable bluetooth speakers are $120 and $100, respectively. If Amazon’s version has reasonable quality sound, $100 makes sense. $200 is tough to justify, but $100? Sure.