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Amazon Echo: Open for Orders, No Invite Required

posted Jun 24, 2015, 5:32 PM by Princess Stabbity   [ updated Jun 24, 2015, 5:47 PM ]

Amazon Echo is designed around your voice. Ask it for music, news, weather, information, and more. Get answers instantly. Learn more.

Amazon Echo
I’m filing this one under "awesome new tech gadget". This thing is, quite simply, amazing.

Amazon has just opened up orders on the Amazon Echo – there is no longer an invitation required. The Echo has been quietly shipping since at least January, but in order to have received one you needed to have received an invitation directly from Amazon with a link to the purchase page. There was no other way to order (unless you tried your luck at eBay to see if someone was selling theirs), until now.

What in the world is an Echo?

The Amazon Echo is a 360° range bluetooth speaker with voice recognition and a ton of capabilities. You can ask your Echo ("Alexa," or "Amazon," whichever you prefer) all sorts of questions: what your local weather or the latest news is, to play your favorite song or play list on Pandora, or to look something up on Wikipedia for you and send the web page to your Kindle. It can control your WeMo and Phillips Hue connected devices, play from multiple cloud radio stations including your Amazon Prime Music, take care of your To-Do and shopping lists, order direct from Amazon (of course – ha!), it can read books to you, and the list goes on. There’s even an Amazon Echo channel on IFTTT so you can set up a bit of automation.

Amazon Echo

There are still a few kinks to be worked out. One of the things I’ve run into is that sometimes the sound is glitchy when playing from Amazon Prime Music, and you can freak Alexa out by having two people try to talk to her at once. Sometimes she gets irritated when she can’t find the wireless signal. They are continually updating the software and fixing bugs/adding features, though, so getting the Echo and being able to play around with it is more than worth the few buggy spots I’ve run into.

Current pricing is $179 with a limit of 2. I have no idea if they’ll raise the price later or not; initially the price tag was supposed to be $199 so this may be a small limited time discount.

If you have the cash to spare, the Amazon Echo is an awesome little gadget with no limit to what they could eventually program it to do. If you already have one, just say, "Alexa, re-order Echo." At the very least, it makes a great bluetooth speaker for your music, and your local weather forecast is never more than a question away :)

Amazon Echo

Source: Amazon Echo: Always Ready, Connected, and Fast.