Amazon Alexa – What is she good for?

Summoning knowledge from a smart speaker is nothing short of futuristic. But, Amazon Alexa is so much more than an information relay system. What else is she good for?

Amazon Alexa – What is she good for?
Amazon Echo Dot
  • At last count, Amazon Alexa actually has 25,000 different skills, far more than any other voice assistant.
  • In addition to general knowledge, Alexa can also perform translations from English to Spanish, German, Japanese, Italian, and more.
  • Although 27% of us think digital assistants encroach on our privacy, the experts tell us that’s not true. In fact, the devices only listen and record once you prompt them with the “wake word.”
  • Are Amazon Echo owners the result of a massive marketing ploy? Device owners actually spend more than Prime members.

Since the release in 2014, Amazon Alexa has changed our lives. This virtual assistant resides in our speakers, tablets, smart remotes, thermostats, and more. She’s smart and sassy depending on your request and she can even learn as she goes. Did you watch the Super Bowl with your Echo speaker nearby? Were you surprised that Alexa didn’t respond to all of the “Alexa” commands during their top-ranking commercial? You shouldn’t be. The Amazon team uses patented technology to transmit snippets of their commercials to the speaker. From there, your Echo speaker develops an acoustic fingerprint to determine when it’s you or the TV saying her name.

Of course, when you first get an Alexa-enabled device you’ll be delighted as you ask countless (and seemingly meaningless) questions. Suffice to say, we’ve come a long way since Siri’s inception in 2011. But, when the novelty wears off, what good is Amazon Alexa, really?

Amazon Alexa What is she good for

Amazon Echo Dot

Practical applications

While most of us don’t sit around quizzing virtual assistants and their breadth of knowledge, it certainly is entertaining. For example, you can ask Alexa to recite the value of pi and she’ll go on for over a minute, hitting every digit. But, there is, indeed, more to life and the real world goes on. For that, Alexa is also armed and ready to get you through each step of your day. She can help you with the weather, talk about your schedule, and even send a quick text when you’re running behind. Here are some practical uses for the smart assistant:

  • Guide you through recipes
  • Answer questions about famous people
  • Solve math equations
  • Set timers and alarms
  • Stream music
  • Answer general questions
  • Relay traffic and weather reports
  • Read headlines
  • Tell dad jokes

It’s clear that having Alexa around is certainly handy. Imagine being halfway through a recipe when you realize it uses the metric system. Or, you can finally have an answer for the recurring “what else is she in?!” question while you binge watch Netflix. It’s even perfect for parents who are struggling with their kids’ math homework.

Amazon Alexa What is she good for

Amazon Echo Plus Speaker

Alexa hardware

The most popular access point of Alexa has to be the Echo range of speakers. Developed by Amazon, the native hardware is an obvious first choice for those wanting the virtual assistant. And, with this suite of devices, you can cover everything you need:

  • Echo Dot Smart Speaker – Small yet mighty, this connected speaker is the most affordable in the Echo range.
  • Echo Plus Speaker Hub – With 360 degrees of audio, this versatile speaker has powerful microphones to pick up your commands from anywhere.
  • Echo Show Smart Display – Functioning like a central hub, the stunning display lets you video chat with total clarity. Plus, you can “drop in” on other Alexa devices with a single command.
  • Echo Spot – Compact and adorable, this alarm actually features a small display so you can stream video content.
  • Echo Look Camera – Getting ready has never been so easy. This smart camera pairs with advanced alogrithms to become your virtual personal stylist.

Home of the future

When Alexa first came on the scene, the majority of us were satisfied with her knowledge and quips; there was nothing on the horizon that we longed for. However, if we learned anything from CES 2018, it’s that voice-activated devices are only just getting started. Just imagine stepping out of the shower and wanting to know the weather before you get dressed. You can ask Alexa to relay the information and hear it through the smart mirror in your bathroom.

Amazon Alexa What is she good for

U by Moen Smart Shower

There are plenty of smart home devices that can make your life easier. However, with Alexa, they’re even smarter. This integration transforms each device into a real asset, giving you more control everywhere in your home. As a result, Alexa helps you to create a network inside your home. Linking between devices, one command can put all of your smart home devices to your preferred settings all at once. All you have to do is add them to the Alexa app on your smartphone. Here are some smart home devices that you can sync with Alexa:

  • U by Moen Smart Shower – Using your voice, you can manage your shower including the temperature and pressure. You can even save your settings for a truly personalized morning.
  • Anker Roav Viva Alexa Car Button – Like an Alexa system for your car, this device lets you do things like pre-order pizza before you even get home.
  • Shark ION ROBOT Robotic Vacuum – A simple vocal command via Alexa gets this vacuum going. You can even vocalize your preferred schedule.
  • Kohler Verdera Smart Mirror – Everything from adjusting the brightness of the built-in lights to pumping out your favorite tunes is just a command away.
  • Sonos One Smart Speaker – Alexa isn’t confined to Echo devices alone. You can now channel her along with brilliant audio all in one unit.
  • Amazon Alexa Echo Smart Buttons – Syncing with the Echo speakers, these buttons can turn into game pieces where you can buzz in your answer to upgrade family game night.
  • IFTTT – If you’re looking for even more integration than the market has to offer, look no further than If This Then That. This app helps to bridge any remaining gaps between Alexa and devices.

So, there you have it. Using just a simple command, you can clean your house, order pizza, catch up on the news, and set the perfect lighting all while you take a personalized shower. And, help your kids with their homework. Unless you live with someone named Alexa, having this intelligent virtual assistant around seems like a no-brainer.

Ashley Timms is an editor at Gadget Flow where she gets to write about the most incredible products in the world. When she’s not writing, she’s producing fine art dog photography.
1
Join the Discussion

You Might Also Like

Best productivity gadgets of 2024

Best productivity gadgets of 2024

Multitasking doesn’t work. Experts say that humans are hardwired to focus on one thing at a time—probably for the better. But that doesn’t mean we can’t strategize our workday (and desk space) to get more done in our 8-hour stint..
Smart home accessories that won’t break the bank (for $50 or less)

Smart home accessories that won’t break the bank (for $50 or less)

No, you’re not imagining it; everyday items are getting more expensive again (thanks, inflation). So, if rising prices are stopping you from buying gadgets that could make your home safer and more convenient, keep reading. The Gadget Flow editorial team..
Could we survive a day without internet? Exploring life offline in 2024

Could we survive a day without internet? Exploring life offline in 2024

You wake up every morning and start your routine, which, for most of us, includes catching up on the news. Whether this is about your friends, celebrities, sports, or current events, it usually begins on your smartphone or tablet. Even..
This wearable air purifier gives instant allergy relief in any indoor space

This wearable air purifier gives instant allergy relief in any indoor space

Do you struggle with airborne allergies like pet fur, pollen, mold, or dust mites? If you do, there’s good news on the way because there’s a brand-new product to make your life easier. Respiray Wear A+ is an allergen-filtering wearable..
May the 4th be with you: must-have Star Wars gadgets and accessories

May the 4th be with you: must-have Star Wars gadgets and accessories

You have your lightsaber ready, and your Star Wars movies all lined up on Disney+. But have you bought yourself—or the superfan in your life—a new collectible in honor of the day? If not, have a look at these must-have..
Mother’s Day gift guide: 10 great gadgets she’ll love

Mother’s Day gift guide: 10 great gadgets she’ll love

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and if you’re looking for the perfect gift for the mother in your life, you’re reading the right blog. In our Mother’s Day gift guide, we’ve rounded up some of the top gadget..