Released on November 6, 2014, Amazon launched its first piece of tech into our homes called The Echo. Little did we know this would turn into a complete line of Amazon home products (otherwise known as Alexa products). They include the redesigned Echo Dot
(generation 3 shown above), the Echo Show
, the Echo Studio
, and the Echo Dot Kids Edition
The standard features of the Echo are:
-Personal Assistant (to-do's, shopping lists, etc)
But what about the not-so-common things your Echo can do? Here is a list of 4 ways you can get more out of your Amazon Echo.
"Alexa, turn on the master bedroom light." Poof! Your light comes on. "Alexa, guard my home in Armed Stay mode," and your home is instantly protected. This is a more known feature. But what is less known is how many products there are that connect with the app. There are hundreds! Using any Alexa compatible product, you can control virtually any area of your home. They even have a smart microwave that is compatible with the app!
Simply go to Amazon's website, click on the main menu (three, horizontally stacked lines), select 'Echo & Alexa' under the 'Devices and Content' section. Then click on 'All Smart Home Devices' under the 'Alexa Smart Home Section'. This will show all the available products that work with your device. From lightbulbs to sprinkler systems, there are endless other options for the inside and outside your home.
While we live in a high-tech world, you may not be wanting to provide your child with a phone yet. With their own Echo Dot, he can call mom, dad, or any other approved contact under their profile with Amazon Freetime. Amazon Freetime allows children to use their own accounts and devices with added protection. These accounts are linked to the main parent account. Parents can control settings from their Amazon Alexa app.
And why stop there? In our two-story home, it can be hard to get his attention. Communicate with any Echo within your home by "dopping-in". This allows any Echo to contact another room. Say the name of the device you want to 'drop-in' on, and the other Echo will ring. You can also drop-in via your Amazon Alexa app on your phone if you are out of the house.
Why stop at an alarm? Your Echo can do so much more! Generate a customized routine for your morning and evening rituals. For example, program your routine in your Alexa app to say "Goodnight Alexa." Your Alexa will then turn off your light, set your alarm to Armed, and have her wish you goodnight in a completely automated routine. Depending on your Alexa capable products, there is almost no end to what Alexa can do in your routines.
Repeating your wake word can get annoying. Saying "Alexa, pause music," "Alexa, add milk to my grocery list," "Alexa, call Dave," all in one minute can be exhausting. Turn on 'follow-up mode' so that your Echo can understand back-to-back commands.
Generate Custom Profiles on Multiple Devices
While Echo can respond to anyone that uses the designated wake word, you may not want your kids to access certain things on a device in a central location.
With custom profiles, Alexa will learn the sound of each user's voice. When that person interacts with the Echo, Alexa will know exactly who is communicating and what actions are appropriate. This doesn't apply only to children's permissions. Your Echo will also make sure that items like calendar events, to-do items, and reminders are being told to the correct person.
There are endless possibilities you can experience with your Echo Dot. With everything the Echo can do, everyone in your family is sure to love its conveniences, from young to old. For even more capabilities, check out Amazon's latest device: The Echo Show.