A few weeks back, Amazon announced out of the blue a new device called the Echo. As was shown in it’s incredibly cheesy video, the echo is a voice activated speaker that can answer many Wikipedia-like questions. I will also play music of a certain artist or genre by request as well as set an alarm at your command. “Alexa” is the key word required to let the device know you are talking to it. For $100 for prime members you can receive this new fancy speaker. But I have not yet ordered it because I have no real need to spend a $100 on a mildly-fancy, or even gimmicky speaker.
However, it has recently occurred to me that the Echo may have a lot of hidden potential. Others have mentioned this may be the first mainstream foundation of a Smart Home Hub. What is that? Most of us don’t have smart homes yet, but imagine one device that could connect to your heater or security system or entertainment center. Now imagine you could control all of these by talking to only one voice-activated device. The Echo may be that device. Earlier this year Amazon introduced the Fire TV, which a box that streams content such as Netflix and Amazon prime to your television. This box already has command features built thru a mic built into the remote. It is easy to see that the Echo may become another means of controlling the Fire TV by your voice. This may be worth the $100 after all. I am excited to see how far Amazon will take this.