Amazon has caught us all by surprise with the announcement of its latest device, Echo, a speaker that doubles as a voice-controlled personal assistant. The Amazon Echo is a cylindrical speaker that offers 360-degree sound with a 2.5-inch woofer, reflex port and 2-inch tweeter that should fill a room with sound. More interesting is that it connects to Wi-Fi to link to Amazon’s cloud and act as a personal assistant by voice.
A wake word will get Echo listening to your command, which could range from asking the news or weather, playing different music, setting an alarm, and even asking questions and getting answers. Don’t worry about being close to Echo, either. Amazon has seven microphones built into Echo with beam forming technology and noise cancellation to hear you anywhere in the room, even with music playing.
If all you want to do with Echo is play music, you’re in luck. Echo can stream directly from Prime Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio and your cloud-stored Amazon Music Library. It also has Bluetooth to pair to a device so that you can play through any service such as Spotify or Google Play Music. Amazon Echo is currently available through an invite-only program, and you can request one at the source link. Amazon Echo costs $199 for non-Prime customers and, during the invite period, Prime customers only have to pay $99.