Amazon Echo: Final Thoughts
Competing as both an online retailer and a hardware vendor is no easy feat. Although Amazon is primarily known as an online retailer, the company has had good success at offering its own hardware products as well. It appears the Echo is another example of hardware that will bring Amazon greater success. In addition to sales of the Echo device itself, Amazon’s built in ordering functionality will surely encourage sales of other items in Amazon’s line as well.
Simply put, the Echo is very impressive. The voice recognition and long range speech detection work incredibly well. We were also very pleased with the speed of Echo—often, there was little to no delay between asking a question or making a request and receiving an appropriate response. Although sound quality of the Echo may not compare to high-end dedicated speakers, we feel the overall sound quality is still very good and appreciated the Echo’s added functionality as a worthwhile trade-off.
As a first-generation device, the Echo offers an impressive feature set along with a nice, subtle design and reasonable price. We can’t wait to see what Amazon will do with future versions of the Echo. We hope at some point Amazon will include a small digital display that can be used to display the time, Wi-Fi status, song information, and more. It will also be fun to see what developers do with the Alexa Skills Kit.
Alexa has become a common name spoken in our household on a daily basis. We use the Echo for many daily tasks including checking the weather forecast, adding items to our shopping list, setting a timer, and listening to our favorite songs. Like our tablets, smartphones, and laptops, the Echo has become a gadget that integrates into our daily life. After living with the Echo for nearly a month, we would recommend it to anyone who’s interested in such a product and the features it offers. It's not without a few shortcomings, namely an integrated battery for better portability, and potentially better audio fidelity, but it's still a fairly compelling and fun device, regardless.