If you're intrigued by the Amazon Echo and the virtual assistant, Alexa, that lives inside the tubular Bluetooth speaker, you can now order the device without an invitation.
The Amazon Echo is now available for $179.99, which is a tad less than Amazon previously said it would cost, but also a bit more than the limited time $99 price that Amazon offered to Prime subscribers. The Echo is expected to begin shipping on July 14.
If you missed our previous coverage of the Echo, I can bring you up to speed. The device is a tall, black cylinder with seven microphones that can listen to your commands. Those can include telling Alexa, the Echo’s virtual assistant, to play music from a variety of streaming services, answer questions with information from Wikipedia, give you weather info and sports scores, check your Google calendar, and control connected home products like WeMo and Philips Hue. Of course, you can also use Echo to order products from your Amazon shopping history.
The Echo is also a Bluetooth speaker, which means that you can connect your smartphone or tablet and pump tunes to it. The device supports Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn, but with Bluetooth, you can also use services like Spotify and iTunes.
Amazon’s Echo is an interesting device, giving you a virtual assistant like Google Now and Siri that anyone can easily use by saying “Alexa.” Amazon has updated the device quite a bit since its debut in late 2014, adding new features like the ability to control your connected home products, and it’ll be interesting to see what other features Echo gains in the future.
Are you interested in the Amazon Echo?