Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Amazon Echo!

My Amazon Echo arrived today!

It doesn't look very impressive, but I think it sounds better than the smartphone speaker dock that used to be in that spot.

I'm pretty impressed with the voice recognition - Siri couldn't pick me up from more than 2 or 3 feet away, but the Echo has responded to every prompt made within line-of-sight, regardless of distance (within the confines of the house, anyway), and has only mis-understood a couple of commands thus far.

Amazon's music service has been pretty good so far, and all my Audible audiobooks are also available. I'm going to have to see if there's a way to integrate my podcasts (beyond standard bluetooth tethering).

I really like the shopping list feature - I had the web interface open when I verbally told the Echo to add milk to the shopping list - it was dang close to instantaneous.

As for home automation, the Echo supports Wemo and Phillips Hue currently. I don't have either of those, but there's already a Wemo emulator available online that I can run side-by-side with my OpenHAB installation - in theory. I'll have to play with that in the near future - it will be pretty cool to control the lights by voice :-)

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