The Amazon Echo aka Amazon Alexa or just Alexa has arrived at CoolToys. In this first test of Alexa, Amazon convinced us to pony up the money for the prime service account so we could test all of the features. Yes we paid for all of this and yes Scott’s wife laughed at him. We knew it was worth looking at.
Part of any CoolToys test is to see if the thing does what it says it will do. Amazon promised a lot with the Alexa thingy, so we put it through it’s paces. Part of the test included Amazon Prime so we could play with Amazon Music and Multi Room Features. You may know one of Scott’s favorite CoolToys that he blogged about back in 2008 is his ReQuest Media Server. Can Amazon keep up with a real server?
Obviously we use Amazon to buy things we test on the show. Our first halo headlights came from Amazon. So would it be that much easier to just say “Hey Alexa order me some Halo Headlights”? The answer is no. The Joke about Jeff Bezos the CEO of Amazon saying “Hey Alexa, buy me some bread at Whole Foods” and Alexa Replying “Ok, Buying Whole Foods.” makes a lot more sense after you try and order with an Echo.
We also go a step beyond and add an Echo Dot in two more rooms just to see how it reacts and what it does for multi room music. More to come about that option.
Editors Note: After a year of living with Alexa, the critical flaw of central located services, i.e. the old mainframe is that if you lose internet, Alexa goes stupid. Week wifi – equals annoying reconnects too.