What is alexa and alexa Features ? what kind of device is it and how can it be useful to its owner? We will try to answer these questions in detail. Alexa is a virtual assistant similar to popular apps like Siri or Google Now. In other words, Amazon Alexa is an assistant that responds to voice commands and performs user tasks.
Initially, Alexa was equipped with a small speaker Amazon Echo. The company started developing this device back in 2010, but it was released only five years later. The launch of the Amazon Alexa-powered Echo was not accompanied by a massive advertising campaign, as such devices were no longer new to users. However, you can already see the potential of Alexa on closer inspection. First, the device works constantly. To give him a voice command, the owner does not have to press any buttons. You just need to say “Alexa” and Amazon Echo will be ready to complete the task. Secondly, Alexa can not only perform the function of a music speaker, but also control a smart home, helping the user with household chores like a little butler. Having such a device as Amazon Echo in a smart home, you can turn on the light,
To date, Amazon allows you to install the virtual assistant Alexa not only on the Echo speaker, but also on a number of other devices. Among them:
- portable speaker Amazon Tap;
- Amazon Dot prefix;
- Fire TV media player;
- smart watch CoWatch.
What you can use Amazon Alexa for
Considering Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa, you can easily understand that this is a truly useful device. What is Alexa capable of? Imagine that right now you want to listen to music. If you have an Amazon Echo speaker, all you need to do is ask the assistant to play the selected song. Or you can ask to play something from the work of a certain group, and then Alexa will select the composition for you on its own.
Alexa’s capabilities go far beyond music playback. With your Echo speaker equipped with a virtual assistant, you can:
make lists of to-do’s and events for the current day or for the whole week using Google Calendar;
- give the device tasks to control the smart home;
- find out the weather, news, sports results, interesting facts;
- call a taxi;
- use entertainment services from third-party developers;
- create playlists on Spotify;
compose cocktails using the extension The Bartender.
Initially, the capabilities of Alexa are limited to the standard set of functions, but any user can develop their assistant using Skills extensions. These extensions are provided by Amazon or third party developers. There are now over 3,000 different Skills available, so every owner of an Echo or other assistant-compatible device can fully enjoy the benefits of Alexa. A central mobile application is used to manage the virtual assistant and customize the system.
What can Alexa do?
Alexa can play music, provide information, present news and sports scores, say the weather, manage its smart home, and even allow Prime members to order products from Amazon. Alexa sits in the cloud, constantly expanding the information offered and refining the answers to get more accurate information. No matter what Alexa device you’re asking for, everyone can answer such answers, whether it’s in your audio tape or in your car.
One of the core functions is playing music and Alexa can draw many sources. Amazon Music is supported, of course, but beyond that, there’s support for many more services like Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, TuneIn as well as apps from individual providers, like the BBC.