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Amazon Develop Voice-Controlled “Smart Speaker”

Amazon EchoAmazon have recently announced the release of the Amazon Echo, a cylindrical “smart speaker” that responds to voice commands.

Functioning in a way that is similar to Apple’s Siri, the Echo not only plays music (that you request by merely asking it), but can also provide the user with information such as the news, weather or facts. Just say the device’s wake word — “Alexa” — and the Echo starts listening to you.

Using 360-degree far-field voice recognition, seven hidden microphones use beam-forming technology to hear the user from any direction and from any point in the room, even if music is playing. Connected to Amazon Web Services via the Cloud, the Echo will continually learn new things and develop new functionalities. In addition, the more it is used, the more the device will grow accustomed to a user’s speech patterns and will eventually learn their preferences.

The Amazon Echo also supports voice control for related services such as Amazon Music, Prime Music, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn, and also features Bluetooth functionality that can stream music from other outlets such as Spotify, iTunes, Pandora etc.

The Amazon Echo has a U.S. RRP set at $199. However, Amazon Prime members are eligible to request an invitation that could see them walking away with one for as little as $99. For more information, vista the Echo website.