Get the Amazon Echo for a more Intelligent Home

Alexa is like Siri for your Livingroom

Many people have gotten used to the convenience innovation-quote-einsteinof having Siri on their phone to provide convenient, voice-activated interaction to a wide range of apps and information.  However, when you’re at home, you don’t always carry your phone around (at least I don’t).  That’s one of the nice things about the Amazon Echo (a.k.a., “Alexa“).  This Internet-connected device recognizes a host of commands and provides extremely convenient access to a wealth of information, music, news, and more recently Interactivity with a host of household devices and useful services.  Amazon Echo is advancing the vision of the intelligent home.

A WiFi Connected Home Speaker with Smarts

The Amazon Echo is a voice-activated device ( with advanced “far-field” voice recognition technology) which responds to a wide variety (and ever growing) list of commands.  It has an impressive range of functionality, with new applications being added on a regular basis.  When it was released just over a year ago, it already had a fair amount of useful functionality:

  • Setting alarms
  • Storing ‘to-do’ lists and shopping lists
  • Providing news briefs
  • Providing a wealth of information from the Internet
  • Providing current weather (at any specified location)
  • Playing music (choose the song, the artist, the genre or create your own playlists)
  • Etc.

Our entire family engaged with Alexa right out of the box

It was a lot of fun experimenting.  We set ours up in the dining room and often request Alexa to “play some dinner music” or “play Dean Martin” or “play 30 Thousand Pounds of Bananas”.  My kids love asking Alexa to “tell us a joke“.  We’ve gotten accustomed to asking Alexa what the weather will be like today, or tomorrow, or in a specific location (if we’re planning to travel).  Amazon Echo is engaging for the entire family.

Got a question?  No need to Google it, just ask Alexa

What is the distance to the moon?

What is the definition of ‘obsequious’?

What football teams are playing today?

Who sings this song?

Alexa is adding new functionality all the time …

As stated by C|Net, “More than a year after its debut, the Echo is smarter than ever, and one of the best connected home products money can currently buy.”  New fun and practical applications are being added constantly, at a rate that is challenging to keep up with.

  • Play a daily round of Jeopardy
  • Remotely control your Amazon Echo via your mobile app
  • Dim your lights or program your thermostat
  • Play music not only from the Amazon Prime Music Library, but also from other accounts you may have such as Pandora, iHeartRadio, Spotify and TuneIn.
  • Order a pizza from Dominos, call for a ride from Uber, stream an audio book …

This is just a subset of what the Amazon Echo can already do.  You owe it to yourself to check it out!

Watch this video for a brief overview:

How do you use your Echo?

Please leave your comments below to let me and other visitors to this site know what features you like best about the Echo or what features I did not list above that you enjoy.


Thank you for checking out this post.  I hope that you found it informative and of value.





About Patrick

Single father of five wonderful children. Left the hectic corporate world to start my own online business to allow me the flexibility to spend more time with my kids, while encouraging other parents to do the same: making the most of their time with their children during their formative years. For more details, go to:

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