Amazon Echo

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Always Listening!

Think before you speak (or buy)

Amazon has just released a new product called Echo; a cylindrical speaker that sits in your room and listens to everything you say…

“Is it on?  Oh, it’s always on!”

Amazon are touting the cute little speaker as a faithful research/personal assistant, that can play your choice in music or find out any snippet of information at the command of your voice.

Want to know the weather? Ask echo. How about a news summary? Ask echo. Set a timer? Ask echo. Want to add items to a shopping list? Ask echo!

Whoooo! Hold it right there! What was that last one?

Want to add items to a shopping list? Ask echo!

Call us cynical, but this got the hairs standing up on the back of our neck. In the age of mobile voice recognition (e.g. Siri), it’s difficult to see the benefits of something like Echo, unless of course you look at it from Amazon’s point of view, rather than the end user.

Instant Shopping

Amazon is in the business of selling things and they are very good at it. Now imagine if you didn’t have to visit their website to buy something:

Me: “Echo, add iPhone charger to shopping list.”

Echo: “Done. By the way, Amazon has it in stock, would you like me to ship it for you?”

or even,

Me: “Echo, play some rock music.”

Echo: “Done. By the way, Amazon has a special on AC/DC’s new album; would you like me to ship it for you?”

Getting to know you (better)

On their website, Amazon invest a lot of time and money in analysing what people buy, so they can better target future purchases. In fact, it’s difficult to find a better 'Recommended Products' system than Amazon’s. The more you shop and browse on the Amazon website, the better Amazon can learn what you like and don’t like. Now, put a device, from Amazon, in your house, that can listen to everything you say and that is “ALWAYS GETTING SMARTER.” Don’t know about you, but those hairs on the back of my neck aren’t settling down!



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