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Two Months In: Living With Amazon Echo


betanews articleThe following is an excerpt from Alan Buckingham | September 21, 2015 | Betanews.com |

It's been two months since I acquired Amazon Echo, the voice controlled device that can do a surprising amount of things. That feature list is always growing as well, with an increasing amount of partnerships and developers writing "skills".

Has the novelty worn off? Well, somewhat, but I still use it every day. It has become a tool that works for me and there are many features that come in handy.

I play Pandora while I work and I can ask Echo what song is playing and it responds with artist and title. That information is also available in the Amazon Alexa app. The device can set a timer for whatever span you want -- "Alexa, set a timer for ten minutes". That's a feature I use daily so as not to forget something on the stove or in the oven. You can even use it to set an alarm and, with the Wink Hub, have it turn on the lights when the alarm goes off -- maybe, that's next.

Therein lies the one problem I've encountered, though it doesn't seem the fault of Echo. It's actually the home automation hub linked to it. This turns the lights on and off with a voice command, which seems handy until it doesn't work. I dread asking it to turn on the lights and hearing "that command doesn't work with that device". It simply means I have to reset the hub, and is an easy enough fix, but annoying, especially in the dark.

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