What Are The Features Of Amazon Alexa?
Alexa is a software developed by Amazon. It is the brain behind the Echo, a wireless, handsfree speaker device. We can say that the Echo without Alexa is just a speaker, whereas Alexa without the Echo is something that lacks a loudspeaker. As a software, it can be used with more than just Amazon devices. In fact, in September 2018, Lenovo announced via press release that it is working on a new Lenovo Smart Tab which will, among other things, contain the Alexa specification.
Capabilities and Skills
Alexa comes with a set of pre-installed capabilities. When a device with Alexa is purchased, it can tell time, answer general questions, set alarms, and tell you the headlines. But Alexa also has the capability to learn other things. The customer can teach Alexa to turn on lights in their smart home, switch on the radio, or open their garage door. These are known as Skills and the developers have written Alexa in such a way that anybody can teach Alexa a Skill. Activities that are performed together or in sequence can also be learned by Alexa and are referred to as a Routine.
Features of Amazon Alexa
Alexa learns all the time. With its connection to the cloud, it is also constantly updating itself. As the person uses the Alexa-equipped device more and more, Alexa learns to adapt to the individual’s speech and vocabulary as well. Here are the most useful features of Amazon Alexa:
- Music, books, and videos – Alexa can play music from your music service of choice, tell you who wrote a book or sang a song, and pull up a video that you request. With a single command, you can tell Alexa exactly the media you want to hear or watch and even ask questions about it.
- Amazon Fire TV – In July 2017, as a software update to the Amazon Fire TV, users can now use Alexa to control the TV including searching for a show and playing it.
- Phone calls and messaging – When you want to call or text someone, a voice command can direct Alexa to call or text them exactly the message you want to send. A new feature, Drop In, allows you to connect with other people who have an Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Show. Simply put, with a voice command you can command Alexa to “drop in” and it will enable you to call someone using the device. You can even use this feature to call people who are in the same house.
- Smart home – Alexa can integrate with a variety of smart home devices from different manufacturers and then Alexa can be used to switch on and off smart bulbs, dim lights open and lock doors set the thermostat, and much more.
- Shopping – Alexa can compile a shopping list, provide reminders on things to buy, and even actually make the purchase for you. It can even update you on where your groceries are in transit. Making voice-command purchases requires the user to set up a 1-Click payment method.
- Schedule reminders – Users can have Alexa remind them of important events or dates or even to pick up their dry-cleaning, on the day they need to be reminded. Users can even set a timer using Alexa, or multiple timers at a time.
Apps like Uber, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Jamie Oliver, Fit Bit, and many more can also be synced to Alexa for even more functionality. The learning potential of this voice assistant is unlimited.