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Amazon Echo the next big thing?

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The New York Times technology reporter seems to think so...

 

I really didn't pay attention to it until I saw it on the QVC channel the other night thaty my wife was watching.

 

It was telling jokes, audio books, ordering pizza.

 

On the Amazon site, the writer of the top review, E. M. Foner, sounds like the Joaquin Phoenix character out of the movie "Her."

 

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http://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Echo-Bluetooth-Speaker-with-WiFi-Alexa/dp/B00X4WHP5E

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/10/technology/the-echo-from-amazon-brims-with-groundbreaking-promise.html

 

The Echo From Amazon Brims With Groundbreaking Promise

 

Many of the world’s largest technology companies have spent the last five years searching in vain for the holy grail, a machine to succeed the smartphone as the next must-have gadget.

 

They have made digital watches and fitness trackers, all manner of computerized glasses and goggles, and more doodads to plug into your TV than there are shows to watch on it.

 

Yet at the moment, the most promising candidate for the Next Great Gadget isn’t made by Apple, Google, Facebook or Microsoft. Instead, it is the Echo, a screenless, voice-controlled household computer built by Amazon — a company whose last big foray into consumer electronics, the Fire Phone, was a humiliating flop.

 

This time it may be different. A bit more than a year after its release, the Echo has morphed from a gimmicky experiment into a device that brims with profound possibility. The longer I use it, the more regularly it inspires the same sense of promise I felt when I used the first iPhone — a sense this machine is opening up a vast new realm in personal computing, and gently expanding the role that computers will play in our future.

 

What is most interesting about the Echo is that it came out of nowhere.....

 

 

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From what I've seen it's not a bad device if it fits your lifestyle. It personally does nothing for me.

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I have one. Right now it is a fun toy used mainly for requesting music and asking for weather reports or ball game scores, but it does provide for future growth. I'm going to write my own home control system using a smart things hub and try to get Echo to control the various home entertainment centers, the heat, a/c, and lights. I do not know if any of it will prove practical but it'll keep my mind (and wallet) occupied for a bit. 

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OK I guess if you have a Wired home. It wouldn't be able to control anything in my house. Strictly Low Tech here except for this laptop & my PC. This house is something like 75yrs old. I'm not that far behind it myself anymore!

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OK I guess if you have a Wired home. It wouldn't be able to control anything in my house. Strictly Low Tech here except for this laptop & my PC. This house is something like 75yrs old. I'm not that far behind it myself anymore!

 

as the technology improves and it becomes more humanlike, it could be the perfect companion for you

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as the technology improves and it becomes more humanlike, it could be the perfect companion for you

"I am a Rock, I am an Island." No Problemo. Left my Phone at work the other day, bothered me for like 5min on the way home. It was still on my desk when I went in the next day, no big deal.

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From what I've seen it's not a bad device if it fits your lifestyle. It personally does nothing for me.

What does it do that a phone can't?

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The echo and devices like it are early developments in what used to be called "ubiquitous computing".

 

The long term goal is to have computing resources always available, fully aware of the context of their user and able to infer intent. To do this right requires the ability to process natural language, network connectivity, ability to learn and some physical "senses".

 

We're a long way from true ubiquitous computing, but the next step in the evolution will be something like an echo that not only "listens" but also "sees" (with a camera(s)) and learns from patterns of usage.

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What does it do that a phone can't?

Depends on what phone you have and there's no bill.

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