Personal Assistance for All; Amazon Dumps Invitation-Only Sales for Echo

June 27, 2015, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

It sounded like a good deal when Amazon announced its voice-controlled personal assistant device called Echo seven months ago. But it never was easy for those who wished to grab a piece.

Amazon launched Echo only for the prime users, and required an invitation for the purchase.

This procedure stood as a barrier for Amazon Echo to be lauded at the same heights as that of Apple Siri or Microsoft Cortana. But Amazon is now lifting those hassles, clearing the way ahead for Echo to walk into public domain.

Amazon-Echo2

Amazon has now shunned the invitation-buy mode for Echo, following which the device is now up for open sale, accessible to all. Users could now pre-order the device for $179, and Amazon will commence the roll out of the feature by July 14.

Amazon Echo was announced during fall last year, with an aim to rival the services of Cortana and Siri through a personal dedicated device that makes use of the support for voice-controls.

Users could type in any questions, relating to weather forecast, sports, events, traffic and Echo will respond audibly, with a voice which belongs to Alexa, as called by Amazon.

That’s not all; Echo also dons the role of a Bluetooth speaker letting you stream music from services like Pandora or Prime Music, or can even get it played from your smartphones using Spotify.

The personal assistance duty is fully done with the inclusion of other services like reading e-books, managing your To-Do list, and offering integration with home automation devices.

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Currently, it’s compatible with products of Belkin, WeMo and Philips Hue.

If welcomed with a broader reception, it may also not seem distant for Alexa to make an entry into smartphone devices, with the likes of Blackberry devices billed to be the desirable partners for Amazon.

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