Amazon Echo Now @ $179.99 in Amazon store
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Amazon Echo (known in-development as Doppler or Project D and shortened and referred to as Echo) is a smart speaker developed by Amazon.com. The device consists of a 9.25-inch (23.5 cm) tall cylinder speaker with a seven-piece microphone array. The device responds to the name "Alexa"; this "wake word" can be changed by the user to either "Amazon" or "Echo".
The device is capable of voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing weather, traffic and other real time information. It can also control several smart devices using itself as ahome automation hub.
Echo offers weather from AccuWeather and news from a variety of sources, including local radio stations, NPR, and ESPN fromTuneIn. Echo can play music from owner's Amazon Music accounts and has built-in support for the Pandora and Spotify streaming music services and has support for IFTTT and Nest Thermostats. Echo can also play music from streaming services such as Apple Music, and Google Play Music from a phone or tablet. Echo maintains voice-controlled alarms, timers, shopping and to-do lists and can access Wikipedia articles. Echo will respond to your questions about items in your Google calendar. It also integrates with Yonomi, Philips Hue, Belkin Wemo, SmartThings, Insteon, and Wink.Additionally, integration with the Echo is in the works for Countertop by Orange Chef, Scout Alarm, Garageio, Toymail, MARA, and Mojio.
Echo also has access to skills built with the Alexa Skills Kit. These are 3rd-party developed voice experiences that add to the capabilities of any Alexa-enabled device (such as the Echo). Examples of skills include the ability to play music, answer general questions, set an alarm, order a pizza, get an Uber, and more. Skills are continuously being added to increase the capabilities available to the user. The Alexa Skills Kit is a collection of self-service APIs, tools, documentation and code samples that make it fast and easy for any developer to add skills to Alexa. Developers can also use the "Smart Home Skill API",a new addition to the Alexa Skills Kit, to easily teach Alexa how to control cloud-controlled lighting and thermostat devices. All of the code runs in the cloud – nothing is on any user device. A developer can follow tutorials to learn how to quickly build voice experiences for their new and existing applications.