Amazon Echo: Cheat sheet – TechRepublic

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Amazon’s sensible speaker dominance could also be going through a problem from Google, however the Echo line continues to be on prime. Discover out all it’s worthwhile to find out about Amazon Echo IoT gadgets.

Amazon’s Echo, Alexa parade: What all of it means
Listed here are Larry Dignan’s key takeaways from Amazon’s 2019 occasion and what it means for sensible house integration, privateness, and digital assistants.
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Amazon’s Echo sensible speaker was a sport changer when it launched in 2015. Since then it has continued to steer the Web of Issues (IoT) hub market regardless of elevated competitors from Google. The whole household of Amazon Echo merchandise may be present in properties, places of work, companies, and a number of other internet-connected cell gadgets that permit Alexa, its onboard digital assistant, to succeed in the net.

The Amazon Echo is designed for the sensible house, however there is no cause it might’t be utilized in a sensible workplace as properly. In the event you’ve been looking for a hub for an IoT-connected workplace, it is properly price your time to research one of many many Amazon Echo merchandise obtainable to see if one is an effective match, and TechRepublic has all the data you want proper right here. This Amazon Echo cheat sheet shall be up to date periodically as new software program is launched and new is developed.

SEE: Web of Issues coverage (TechRepublic Premium)

Government abstract

  • What’s Amazon Echo? Amazon Echo is a line of internet-connected sensible audio system and cell equipment that include Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant. It is ready to function an IoT hub, a music participant, an web search engine, and the rest that an Alexa Ability permits it to do.

  • Why does Amazon Echo matter? Amazon Echo is, up to now, the main sensible speaker available on the market. Google House is an in depth second, however Amazon’s two-year head begin has made Echo and Alexa the platform to beat. Anybody interested by sensible house expertise will seemingly be making a alternative between a kind of platforms.

  • Who does Amazon Echo have an effect on? Amazon Echo impacts anybody who needs to show their house or enterprise into a sensible IoT-connected one. Amazon Echo can function a hub for quite a lot of IoT gadgets; newer Echo items with screens additionally make easy video calling a actuality for companies and customers, and cell Echo makes staying linked to Alexa attainable irrespective of the place you’re.

  • How has the Amazon Echo line modified since its launch? The Amazon Echo was launched to the general public in June 2015, with the Dot and Faucet being launched in September and March 2016, respectively. Amazon revamped the Echo line with a brand new model of the Echo in September 2017, together with these new merchandise: The sensible home-centered Echo Plus, the now discontinued Echo Spot, and the Echo Join, which lets you join Alexa to a phone landline. In September 2018, Amazon made main adjustments to the Echo line once more, releasing a number of new merchandise with new capabilities and kind elements. In September 2019, Amazon launched a number of new Echo gadgets in addition to Alexa-powered smartglasses, a sensible ring, and earbuds.

  • How do I begin utilizing Amazon Echo? The entire varied Echo merchandise can be found on Amazon.com and at main electronics retailers. Utilizing an Amazon Echo is so simple as putting in the smartphone app and following the onscreen directions.

SEE: All of TechRepublic’s cheat sheets and sensible particular person’s guides

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The brand new Echo gadgets Amazon introduced at its September 2019 occasion.

Picture: James Martin/CNET

What’s Amazon Echo?

It is arduous to be on the web these days and never have heard of the Amazon Echo. Amazon’s sensible speaker and IoT hub has offered over 5 million items since its launch in 2015, making it the straightforward chief within the sensible speaker market.

The Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Echo Studio, Echo Glow, Echo Flex, and Echo Present eight are all internet-connected audio system that include Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant. (The Echo Glow doesn’t have a built-in microphone and requires a further Echo unit to function.)

Together with these home-based gadgets are three cell Amazon Echo merchandise that permit customers to connect with Alexa whereas out of the home: The AirPod-competitor Echo Buds, Echo Frames smartglasses (they do not have show options and are basically simply glasses with Alexa in-built), and the Echo Loop ring. 

Amazon has additionally introduced the Alexa Good Oven, a mix microwave, convection cooker, and an air fryer. The oven would not have a sensible speaker and requires an Echo machine to function its sensible options.

Alexa can management IoT gadgets, buy items from Amazon, play music, and carry out quite a lot of app-like duties referred to as Expertise, which may be put in from contained in the Alexa app or Amazon’s Alexa Expertise web page.

Newer Echo merchandise may even flip an everyday “dumb” speaker into an Alexa-powered machine, carry Alexa to your automotive, or allow you to voice-control a microwave.

The entire varied Echo gadgets may be woken with a voice command, which is ready to “Alexa” by default. The gadgets characteristic restricted management buttons for quantity, mute, and wake, however the merchandise actually shine when their far-field microphones and speech recognition are used to make requests from the subsequent room.

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Tech specs for Amazon Echo gadgets

Specs: Amazon Echo (new Sept. 2019 mannequin)

  • Dimension: 5.eight” x three.9″ x three.9″

  • Display screen dimension: n/a

  • Sound: three” woofer and zero.eight” tweeter

  • Digital camera: n/a

  • Wi-Fi: Twin-band Wi-Fi helps 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.four and 5 GHz) networks.

  • Bluetooth: Full help for streaming audio from a tool to the Echo and for voice management of cell gadgets.

  • Energy: Requires normal wall outlet

  • Battery life: n/a

  • Setup necessities: Wants Wi-Fi connection and suitable management machine (Fireplace OS, Android, iOS, or net portal)

Specs: Amazon Echo Plus

  • Dimension: 9.three” x three.three” x three.three”

  • Display screen dimension: n/a

  • Sound: 2.5″ woofer and zero.eight” tweeter

  • Digital camera: n/a

  • Wi-Fi: Twin-band Wi-Fi helps 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.four and 5 GHz) networks.

  • Bluetooth: Full help for streaming audio from a tool to the Echo and for voice management of cell gadgets.

  • Energy: Requires normal wall outlet

  • Battery life: n/a

  • Setup necessities: Wants Wi-Fi connection and suitable management machine (Fireplace OS, Android, iOS, or net portal)

Specs: Amazon Echo Dot (new Sept. 2019 mannequin)

  • Dimension: three.9″ x three.9″ x 1.7″ 

  • Display screen dimension: LED display can show time, temperature, and timers

  • Sound: Single zero.6″ speaker, three.5 mm stereo jack for connection to exterior speaker.

  • Digital camera: n/a

  • Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac help, no ad-hoc/p2p community help

  • Bluetooth: Full help for streaming audio from a tool to the Echo and for voice management of cell gadgets.

  • Energy: Requires normal wall outlet

  • Battery life: n/a

  • Setup necessities: Wants Wi-Fi connection and suitable management machine (Fireplace OS, Android, iOS, or net portal)

Specs: Amazon Echo Studio

  • Dimension: eight.1″ top x 6.9″ diameter

  • Display screen: n/a

  • Sound: Three 2″ (51 mm) midrange audio system, one 1″ (25 mm) tweeter, one 5.25″ (133 mm) woofer with bass aperture

  • Digital camera: n/a

  • Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac help, no ad-hoc/p2p community help

  • Bluetooth: Full help for streaming audio from a tool to the Echo and for voice management of cell gadgets.

  • Energy: Requires normal wall outlet

  • Battery life: n/a

  • Setup necessities: Wants Wi-Fi connection and suitable management machine (Fireplace OS, Android, iOS, or net portal)

Specs: Amazon Echo Present eight

  • Dimension: 7.9″x 5.four”x three.9″

  • Display screen dimension: eight”

  • Sound: twin 2″ audio system

  • Digital camera: Entrance-facing 1MP digicam for video calls

  • Wi-Fi: Twin-band Wi-Fi helps 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.four and 5 GHz) networks.

  • Bluetooth: Full help for streaming audio from a tool to the Echo and for voice management of cell gadgets.

  • Energy: Requires normal wall outlet

  • Battery life: n/a

  • Setup necessities: Wants Wi-Fi connection and suitable management machine (Fireplace OS, Android, iOS, or net portal)

Specs: Echo Flex

  • Dimension: 2.eight” x 2.6″ x 2.zero”

  • Display screen dimension: n/a, does have LED indicator and built-in night time mild

  • Sound: zero.6″ mini speaker, stereo jack

  • Digital camera: n/a

  • Wi-Fi: Twin-band Wi-Fi helps 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.four and 5 GHz) networks.

  • Bluetooth: Full help for streaming audio from a tool to the Echo and for voice management of cell gadgets.

  • Energy: Requires normal wall outlet, plugs straight into outlet with out twine, has one USB-A port

  • Battery life: n/a

  • Setup necessities: Wants Wi-Fi connection and suitable management machine (Fireplace OS, Android, iOS, or net portal)

Specs: Echo Buds

  • Dimension: Earbud: 22 x 23 x 24 mm, charging case: 57 x 77 x 29 mm

  • Sound: Knowles dual-balanced armature drivers, Bose energetic noise discount

  • Wi-Fi: Makes use of Wi-Fi or knowledge connection together with the Alexa app to allow some options

  • Bluetooth: Helps Bluetooth 5.zero

  • Energy: Fees through charging case. Charging case expenses with micro-USB

  • Battery life: 5 hour battery life, 20 with charging case. 

  • Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity, contact

  • Compatibility: Works with Android 6.zero and newer, iOS 12 and newer. 

Specs: Echo Frames

  • Dimension: Echo Frames: 54-18-145 mm, carrying case: 161.5 x 62.5 x 44.75 mm

  • Display screen dimension: n/a, frames don’t characteristic any heads-up show

  • Sound: four micro audio system (2 in every arm)

  • Digital camera: n/a

  • Wi-Fi: Makes use of Wi-Fi or knowledge connection together with the Alexa app to allow some options.

  • Bluetooth: Helps Bluetooth 5.zero

  • Energy: Frames cost through micro-USB. 

  • Battery life: All day battery life with “intermittent utilization,” three hours of steady audio playback.

  • Sensors: capacitive contact, ambient mild, accelerometer

  • Compatibility: Helps Android eight.zero and newer, iOS not supported

Specs: Echo Loop

  • Dimension: 2.58 mm thick x 11.35–15.72 mm huge. Ring obtainable in S, M, L, and XL sizes.

  • Sound: armature speaker

  • Wi-Fi: n/a, pairs with smartphone and makes use of its knowledge/Wi-Fi connection

  • Bluetooth: Helps Bluetooth 5.zero

  • Energy: Fees through charging case. Charging case expenses with micro-USB

  • Battery life: Full day of “intermittent use.”

  • Compatibility: Works with Android eight.zero and newer, iOS 12 and newer.

Specs: Amazon Echo Spot

  • Dimension: four.1″ x three.eight” x three.6″
  • Display screen dimension: 2.5″
  • Sound: 2.5″ speaker
  • Digital camera: Entrance-facing for video calls
  • Wi-Fi: Twin-band Wi-Fi helps 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.four and 5 GHz) networks.
  • Bluetooth: Full help for streaming audio from a tool to the Echo and for voice management of cell gadgets.
  • Energy: Requires normal wall outlet
  • Battery life: n/a
  • Setup necessities: Wants Wi-Fi connection and suitable management machine (Fireplace OS, Android, iOS, or net portal)

Specs: Amazon Echo Present

  • Dimension: 7.four” x 7.four” x three.5″
  • Display screen dimension: 7″
  • Sound: twin 2″ audio system
  • Digital camera: Entrance-facing 5MP digicam for video calls
  • Wi-Fi: Twin-band Wi-Fi helps 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.four and 5 GHz) networks.
  • Bluetooth: Full help for streaming audio from a tool to the Echo and for voice management of cell gadgets.
  • Energy: Requires normal wall outlet
  • Battery life: n/a
  • Setup necessities: Wants Wi-Fi connection and suitable management machine (Fireplace OS, Android, iOS, or net portal)

SEE: Do not miss our newest IoT protection (TechRepublic on Flipboard)

Why does Amazon Echo matter?

The sensible speaker/IoT hub market is presently caught in a twin platform struggle, as is usually the case in expertise. This time it is Amazon vs. Google, and the latter has a variety of catching as much as do.

If Amazon’s digital assistant supremacy—and by extension the Echo’s market lead—continues, it is seemingly anybody entering into IoT could have to select between two platforms: Amazon’s and Google’s.

Amazon’s two years of further gross sales time has given it an enormous edge on the variety of obtainable Expertise and sensible house partnerships: It significantly outpaces Google in each of these areas.

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Who does Amazon Echo have an effect on?

In the event you’re curious in regards to the Web of Issues, the Amazon Echo impacts you. Good properties and sensible places of work want a foremost machine that operates the thermostat, activates the lights, streams video to the TV, controls the washer… the chances are too quite a few to call and continue to grow on a regular basis.

SEE: Particular report: Harnessing IoT within the enterprise (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The Amazon Echo is not only a sensible house hub—it is also a digital assistant designed to do a variety of the identical issues as Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana, and comparable expertise. It might probably set timers, add gadgets to a procuring record, get film evaluations, ebook restaurant reservations, and do a variety of the stuff you used to have to search out your smartphone for.

Whether or not you need an Amazon Echo to set the thermostat, lock the doorways, shut the blinds, or simply preserve a procuring record, the machine can do it each at house and on the go together with its cell choices.

Amazon Echo items are merchandise, however they’re inseparable from Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant. Whenever you begin utilizing an Echo within the workplace or house, you are getting Alexa together with it, and Amazon is aware of it. Amazon launched in 2017 Alexa for Enterprise, which supplies myriad instruments to companies that wish to combine Alexa, and Echo merchandise, into the workplace.

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How has the Amazon Echo line modified because it launched?

The unique Amazon Echo was launched to the general public in June 2015. The Dot joined it in March 2016, and the Faucet got here to market in September 2016.

New Expertise and IoT partnerships are launched pretty usually, and enormous bulletins may be anticipated at most main commerce exhibits like CES, which Amazon Alexa dominated in 2017.

SEE: Alexa builds a rising military to invade the digital house (ZDNet)

Amazon revamped the Echo line with a brand new model of the Echo in September 2017, together with these new merchandise: The sensible home-centered Echo Plus, the tiny Echo Spot (not obtainable), and the Echo Join, which lets you join Alexa to a phone landline.” Echo Buttons have been additionally launched, which perform like sport present buzzers for taking part in Echo video games.

In September 2018, Amazon made one other spherical of adjustments to the Echo product line, introducing new variations of merchandise together with the Echo Dot and Echo Present, in addition to releasing a variety of new Alexa-powered gadgets.

Together with up to date variations of the Echo sensible audio system coated within the tech specs part of this cheat sheet, Amazon launched the next new Echo merchandise.

  • Echo Enter: The Echo Enter is roughly the identical diameter as an Echo Dot, nevertheless it lacks a speaker. As a substitute, it is designed to be linked to any normal speaker to show it into an Alexa-powered sensible speaker.

  • Echo Sub: Whereas not a standalone Echo unit, the Sub pairs with one or two Echoes to create a greater sound system. It is a six-inch down-firing subwoofer that feels like it is going to pack a punch, and vastly enhance listening high quality in case your Echo serves as a house stereo system.

  • Echo Hyperlink Amp: The Echo Hyperlink Amp is an amplifier. It has a coaxial, line, and optical in/out, help for a subwoofer, and different normal amp options.

  • Amazon Good Plug: The Amazon Good Plug is a tiny IoT-powered plug that sits between a wall outlet and an equipment. Echo items robotically detect them after they’re on the identical Wi-Fi community, and allows you to specify what the Good Plug is powering. You’ll be able to then flip that old style digital into a sensible product that responds to Alexa instructions.

  • AmazonBasics Microwave: This Alexa-connected microwave will reply to voice instructions when it is on the identical Wi-Fi community as an Echo. Toss popcorn in it, say “Alexa, microwave some popcorn,” and it’ll get it performed with out you having to push a single button.

  • Echo Wall Clock: The analog Echo Wall Clock connects to Echo items and actually solely does one factor, apart from telling the time: It makes use of a hoop of LED lights to visually show timers you’ve got set with Alexa. In case your kitchen is throughout the home, or workplace, out of your desk it may be an effective way to be reminded of a timer you set, and it is solely $29 besides.

  • Echo Auto: Ever wished to ask Alexa one thing within the automotive solely to appreciate it wasn’t there with you? The Echo Auto goals to eradicate that downside. The small dash-mounted machine connects to a smartphone and piggybacks off its knowledge connection to supply full Echo-like capabilities whereas on the street.

In 2019, Amazon once more expanded the Echo line so as to add the next merchandise: 

  • Echo Studio: This new premium Echo mannequin is designed to compete with high-end audio merchandise just like the Sonos One sensible speaker. 

  • Echo Flex: This small machine plugs straight into an outlet to behave as an Echo machine, USB wall charger, and night time mild multi functional.

  • Echo Frames: Amazon’s new sensible glasses, these modern frames are much less Google Glass and extra a pair of glasses-mounted sensible headphones. 

  • Echo Buds: The Echo Buds are Amazon’s response to the success of Apple’s AirPods. 

  • Echo LoopThis sensible ring has a clickable button that can be utilized to name Alexa and make cellphone calls to at least one pre-programmed contact. It additionally has a tiny speaker in-built which you can hear by placing the ring near your ear. 

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Picture: Amazon

Who’re Amazon Echo’s opponents?

There are a selection of third-party sensible audio system that are not manufactured by Amazon however associate with them in order that they’ll use Alexa. I am not together with them right here since they are not direct opponents.

Amazon Echo’s foremost competitor is Google House. The specs for the Google House are just like the Echo, and performance of the machine may be very comparable as properly. The latest model of the fundamental Echo is a bit cheaper, although: $99 vs. the House’s $129.

The Dot may be bought for $49.99, the identical worth because the Google House Mini, and the Echo Plus is barely costlier than the Google House at $149.

The largest distinction between the Echo and Google House could also be each product’s suitability for enterprise use. Amazon may need a bonus relating to integrations and market share, however Google’s ecosystem is far bigger, presents a wider vary of merchandise appropriate for enterprise, and has extra room to develop. It is essential to keep in mind that Amazon is a web-based market, and Echo will at all times serve that function.

Google, alternatively, is within the info enterprise, which can give it an edge because the battle for sensible house and digital assistant supremacy continues.

It is also price mentioning the Apple HomePod, Apple’s Siri-powered entry into the sensible speaker market. In case your curiosity in sensible audio system is primarily pushed by their enterprise functions, the HomePod is probably not the most effective funding—whereas it does have some enterprise makes use of, it’s primarily designed for house use.

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How can I begin utilizing Amazon Echo?

The entire Echo gadgets can be found on Amazon and at main electronics retailers.

As soon as you buy an Echo, it is easy to get it going—simply set up the app, activate the Echo, and observe the onscreen directions. Connection errors are rare and, so long as you do not transfer the Echo outdoors of Wi-Fi vary, you should not must cope with any issues.

The Echo Loop and Echo Frames are presently solely obtainable through invitation, so most of the people is out of luck. Remember to test the hyperlinks to these merchandise on this information to see the newest availability standing.

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