Perhaps you’ve heard of the Amazon Echo and have being wondering why there is so much noise about it. After all, there are several personal digital assistants like the Amazon Echo. Apple’s Siri is one. And even Facebook is attempting to built the ultimate personal assistant to be integrated in Messenger chatbots.
But the Amazon echo, known famously as Alexa, is a sweet gadget that you can actually see. Unlike the completely virtual ones from Apple and Facebook. Although, the newly unveiled Home from Google could be an exciting addition to the world of personal assistants. For now though, Amazon Echo is the rave of the moment. And in that annoying and common tradition among US firms, only those living in the US have being able to experience the world of Amazon Echo and Alexa.
Now in a bid to give the rest of the world a feel of Alexa, Amazon have launched a web-based version of the Amazon Echo. This is an olive branch of sorts for Amazon fans living outside the US. Also for those living in the US, they can try the Amazon Echo on the Web before making up their minds to buy. Though this sounds like a test project before one gets the real thing, you can actually ask the Web based Amazon Echo anything you wish. And you don’t have to call it Alexa.
How to Use The Web-based Amazon Echo
To get the feel of the personal assistant online, Amazon created a new website, echosim.io, where all you have to do is click and hold a button on the site. Then fire away with all your questions. The only caveat is you must have an Amazon account. I think I need to once once again use my Amazon account. It’s being a while I used it.
Announcing the development in Amazon’s developers’ Web page, Glenn Cameron, Developer Marketing Manager, first of all traced the history of how they got to this point:
Echosim.io lives in your browser, so anyone, anywhere can access it and test their Alexa skills. You no longer need an Alexa-enabled device to test your skills. Developers worldwide can use Echosim.io to experience Alexa. Its simplicity makes it easy for anyone to understand what an Echo is and what it does without having to explain Alexa’s unique UX.
Try Echosim.io for yourself. Simply visit the website and log in with your Amazon account. If you want to test your Alexa skill, be sure to log in with your developer account. Click and hold the microphone button and speak a command. For example, say “Alexa, what’s the weather today?” When you let go of the button, Echosim.io processes and responds to your voice command – give it a try.”
So clearly, the target group for the Web-based Amazon Echo are developers living outside the US. But, inadvertently, anybody with an Amazon account can also get a feel of how it works. Amazon have laid their reputation on the line saying the Web based Amazon Echo is similar in voice and response time to the real life Alexa. That needs to be seen. However, I suppose only people living in the US can actually do a real comparison between the two.
As for me and I guess most people in Nigeria, the question would be, would the Amazon Echo have sufficient local input to answer Nigeria-based questions? I really doubt that. But the taste of the pudding is in the eating right? So go ahead, try it and see how it taste.
photo credit: echosim.io