Amazon Echo Grow Smarter On Its First Birthday
Amazon Echo is a smart device that was launched on November 7, 2014, it can respond to human voice when users call its name, "Alexa." After a year in the market, new functionalities are added to make it a better smart device.
Mashable congratulated the smart-home device in its first year anniversary. He remembered his first time getting Alexa in June as Amazon kept supplies low and demand high on the device for much of 2015. Alexa fall into categories as a digital assisstant, much like Siri and Google Now.
In its promotional material, Amazon mentioned the device as having an advanced audio design that capable to deliver omni-directional audio across the room. Its designed as a tube speaker with seven surrounding microphone to enable it to receive a voice command from multiple direction. Amazon echo respond to voice command with Amazon's cloud-based voice service, called Alexa.When users called Alexa, Amazon Echo will respond. The seven-microphones is equipped with enhanced noise cancellation, so Amazon Echo can still respond to voice command even when it is playing music.
Currently, Amazon added more functionality to its Echo with a local search from Yelp, streaming music from Pandora, audiobooks from Audible and support for IFTTT automation service. According to ZD Net, IFTTT whichis an acronym of "If This Then That," is an API for dummies. It is because IFTTT works by connecting apps and cloud services in a way anyone can use it. In order to enable IFTTT to work with Amazon Echo, the owner can connect IFTTT account to their Amazon account. After the accounts are connected, users can either browse for existing Alexa recipes or create new recipes.
IFTTT is a web-based service launched in 2010, that gives its subscriber creative control over their products and apps. It creates a connection between product and apps using simple connection called Recipes. Recipe is a predicate consist of trigger and action, which trigger is an item that trigger an action. For example, when we click a like button on a Facebook picture, it will trigger a pre-determined action such sending the photo to our cloud server. Currently, IFTTT works 237 services from Facebook, Twitter and other service.
After connecting the IFTTT and Amazon account, Amazon Echo owners can start setting up the recipe for their device. The Verge wrote that users can now choose their own phrase triggers to activate IFTTT recipes to their Amazon Echo.
With its first year of anniversary, Amazon Echo still has more rooms to develop. With its new features with IFTTT,Yelp local search and other services, Amazon Echo can become a really smart-home device.