Amazon Echo was one of the hottest selling electronic items for Christmas in 2016 in the US and it is continuing to grow in popularity. (It still has not been given a release date for the Canadian market.) The device uses a technology called “Alexa” (similar to Apple’s “Siri”) that connects to Wi-Fi, links directly to your Amazon account, plays music, allows you to read books, turns your home into a smart house, and much more.
The Amazon Echo is voice controlled. In order to wake it up, the user must simply say, “Alexa,” and from there the possibilities of what can be done with Alexa are limitless; this AI can learn and evolve as new skills are added and developed. Here are 8 uber-creative things you can do with your Amazon Echo — and they will amaze you!
- Learn a language. One can ask something like, “Alexa, ask translator how to say ‘where is the bathroom?’ in French.” This command uses the Alexa app to look up translations in over 50 different languages, including French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Russian, Japanese, and Korean. There are even some ancient languages such as Latin and Hebrew.
- Hands free texting. If you are signed up for the productivity app If This Then That (orIFTTT), you can link your accounts and Alexa can send emails and text messages for you. Alexa can also do other cool stuff if you have an iPhone that is also linked to your Amazon Echo, such as tell you where the phone is located if you lose it.
- Personal assistant. Amazon Echo is a lot like having a personal assistant when it comes to getting and staying organized. Alexa can add events to your calendar, add items to your to-do-list, set timers and alarms, read you your schedule, reorder Amazon pantry items such as dog food, toilet paper, batteries, and more.
- Lose weight. The Alexa app provides many weight loss solutions for the Amazon Echo. You can ask Alexa how many calories are in a certain food, set a workout, add items to a grocery list, develop weekly meal plans, and even find healthy recipes to print or have Alexa read them out loud.
- Play games. There are a lot of different games that you can play with Amazon Echo. Alexa is happy to play against you anytime in games such as Word Master, Trivia, Star Wars, Jeopardy, Dice, and several others. There are also new games being added and updated to the Alexa app all the time.
- Comedy night. If you want to have some great laughs with family and friends, check out the Echo’s comedy applications. In the app “Simon Says”, Alexa will repeat anything that you say after the title phrase. If you have the Amazon remote control, you can talk into the remote from another room and have Alexa really freak out your guests! Alexa can also tell political jokes, “knock knock” jokes, and more.
- Read bedtime stories. The Amazon Echo can read bedtime stories to your children or read out loud to you through Audible. You can also have Alexa read aloud from books that are in your Kindle library, though the narration is not nearly as good as listening to voice actors and authors reading their words through Audible.
- Play music. The Amazon Echo can act like surround sound for your entire house if you have the Echo dots placed throughout and linked to the Echo. If you only have Amazon Echo, you can still turn one room in your house into a concert hall with access to virtually any song you can think of. You can also ask Alexa to play Christmas music, show tunes, 90s alternative rock, or any genre you enjoy, and it will tune into a radio station with that genre playing.
The Amazon Echo has way more capabilities than this list mentions and it is constantly evolving as new skills and abilities are added to the Alexa app. This technology truly has the ability to change the way you stay organized, stay healthy, and enjoy life.