Alexa is a Virtual Assistant developed by Amazon and was first used in its Speakers ‘echo’ and ‘dot’. It’s basically a software that can be paired with TVs, home automation systems, mobile phone’s etc.
With (AI) and home automation believed to be the next big thing in the consumer marketplace, ALEXA seems to be a giant leap forward in reaching out to the customers. With Google homecoming in as the biggest competition and even Samsung, Apple expressing their interest in the virtual assistant market, these Virtual assistants are here to stay!
It may not match Jarvis’ capabilities from the iron man series but is a big step for AI and home automation systems reaching the consumers in the market, so if you recently unwrapped or planning to buy an Alexa powered speaker read through these
10 Things You Should Know About Alexa.!
You can Teach Alexa!
Alexa starts out by knowing what Amazon tells it. She already knows how to tell the time, and set alarms and timers, or answer general questions and read headlines. But Alexa also has the ability to learn more. A lot more.
The software can be made to learn new ‘skills’ as Amazon likes to call them.
Want to teach Alexa to turn on your smart lights, or open your garage door, or do anything she doesn’t already know how to do? You need a Skill. That’s where developers come in. Amazon has made it so that anyone can write an Alexa Skill, and companies and their developers have been doing so for years now.
There are approximately 25000-30000 skills available today with varying degree of usefulness.
Alexa can be Mapped with Non-Amazon Devices
Alexa devices don’t just come from Amazon’s factory. You can also buy other devices which have Alexa built in thanks to Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service (AVS), a cloud-based service that provides APIs for third-parties to use interface with Alexa.
The following speakers can be equipped with ALEXA!
- Triby Smart speaker
- Honeywell Smart Security System
Change Language Accent
Alexa has a ton of accents to choose from and you can change them within the app. Australian, Indian, British, Canadian – the list is expanding quickly. Just go to Settings > Language within the Alexa app to change things up. We’ve also made a list of all the Amazon Alexa accents.
Alexa Calling and Messaging
As the name suggests, this is about Alexa’s ability to place calls and send messages. This works as a combination of an Alexa compatible smart speaker and your Alexa app on the phone or tablet. A speaker like Echo or Echo dot can be used to make voice calls while an Echo show supports video calls as well.
This certainly makes up for Amazon’s inability to create its own phone.
Alexa can Identify Voices
Alexa can be trained to recognize and different voices from different users. This can be used to tailor certain responses for specific users. For instance, this feature can be used to prevent your kids from making purchases online though Alexa
How does Alexa Listen to Commands?
It is true that Alexa keeps listening and is on a lookout for commands concerning the software. However, it only starts recording and processing the commands when it’s triggered by the “wake up” word. The blue light on the Echo speaker indicates that Alexa is processing and recording the audio. These recorded commands are then stored in Amazon servers and can be permanently deleted using the Alexa mobile app.
Routines are by far the most impressive features of Alexa. There might be a string of actions and tasks that you’d like to be performed as part of a ‘routine.’ Alexa lets you customize and build different routine which can be triggered by a phrase you say. A total of seven tasks can be taken under one routine.
Ever dreamed of owning a Jarvis like the Virtual assistant that controls your entire home with automation. Maybe not at the same level, but Alexa is more than capable of achieving and controlling home automation. You may need to shed some extra bucks to order for smart home devices like Nest Thermostats, Philips Hue lightbulbs, and August locks. In this manner, you can make your virtual assistant equipped with abilities to control things like the light, room temperature. Etc.
Multi-Room Music Playback
The Amazon Echo lineup has recently been updated with the ability to support multi-room audio, which is a great addition to Alexa’s skillset and means you can now listen to your favorite tunes throughout the house.
Find Your Phone
With the help of Find My iPhone, you can let Alexa know when you’ve misplaced your phone and she’ll call it right away. The best part is, Alexa can turn on the ringer, even when you’re sure you’ve left your phone on vibrate. What would you do without her?