Alexa; the speaker that talks




For a while now, there has been a fuss about Siri, the lady on the iPhone. You tell her what you need and she gets it for you. As a matter of fact, she almost sounds like a friend. There was once I told her I was lonely and she said, “You know I am always here for you”. But Siri is just another application on your device and as we go on with this technological world, there is always room for better applications. Different phones have had different voice assistants although no one really likes using them. The whole process may seem ridiculous at times, holding down a button to talk to your phone may seem a bit odd. But there’s a new speaker in town that may just change our whole experience; it is probably the most promising gadget after the iPhone.

I watched about this new speaker recently and I was highly impressed. The Amazon Echo speaker is one in a million and her name is Alexa. I may actually talk about the speaker like a person every once in a while because she’s super smart. She’s the wireless speaker that connects to music, radio and many other things. You can wake her up in the morning by simply saying “Alexa” and soon after that, a blue ring lights up at the top of the speaker ready for a command. From there on she’s like your very smart best friend or partner asking her all sorts of questions because she has all the answers. You can tell her to switch on the alarm, football scores, play your favorite music or enlighten you with some knowledge about the World War two because she knows it all.

For most devices there is usually a touchscreen or keypad involved. But Alexa has only two physical controls, one to turn off the microphone and an action button for waking her up manually and a simple ring that allows you to control the volume. So how does she work? It’s quite easy, you don’t need to be an Einstein to set her up. You simply connect it to power using a power cable and you begin your journey with her. For starters, you download the Alexa app then connect to WIFI. From there on, she’s all yours everything else is controlled by your voice. If you have a very simple phone that can’t do a lot then this speaker might be the best upgrade for you. Did I mention you could ask Alexa anything? Including spell check and if you have a smart home that is connected to Internet well then Alexa will help you keep your home in check. Amazon, managed to position the Echo in a way that it can turn off your lights or warm up your house. It goes to show that it has a futuristic hub for the smart home.

Alexa’s speech recognition is very good because it has 7 microphones that can cut out other voices and just focus on your own. So she’s also a very good listener, because it rarely fails to listen even when there are other sounds around. It also has a non-robotic voice hence why it’s so easy to talk to her like she’s a real person. When connected to all the right apps like Uber and delivery food apps it promises a sense of completion that very few other devices have managed to do. The prices range based on the size and if you’d like one all you have to do is order one, in Kenya its about 5,000 Kenya shillings.