The “Alexa” Blog

The purpose of this “Blog” is to provide Sunnyside residents with an introduction into, and hopefully a continuing discussion of a very useful technology with great potential to improve all our lives in general, but specifically, in my opinion, the lives of senior citizens. I would like to state, up front, that I do not have any direct financial connection to the technology we will be discussing here, nor do I advocate the purchase this technology. My purpose is to inform and discuss the technology, then you can make your own decision as to whether this technology is something you want to purchase and use.

This blog will focus solely on the Amazon “Echo” family of devices (there are other similar devices on the market) which are hands-free speakers you control with your voice. The Echo connects to Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service in the “Cloud,” through wireless internet, to do such things as: play music, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and much more—instantly. All you have to do is ask.

When you want to use the Amazon Echo, just say the wake word “Alexa” and the Echo lights up (in blue) and streams audio to the cloud where the Alexa Voice Service is leveraged to recognize and respond to your request instantly.

“Alexa,” is the brain behind the Amazon Echo and because she resides in the cloud she is always getting smarter. The more you use “Alexa,” the more she adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences. And because “Alexa” is always connected, updates are delivered automatically.

There you have it for today. In subsequent blogs we will discuss in more detail the basics and more advanced ways of interacting with “Alexa” and how she can become your companion and assist you. Specifically, in the next blog we will discuss the Amazon Echo family of devices, set up of the Echo, and a few basic “get started” commands to engage “Alexa.”