What Is Amazon Alexa And How Do I Use It?

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What is Amazon Alexa? If this is something new to you, then you might be missing out on a lot of tech talk right now! Being one of the leaders in the tech scene, Amazon came up with its virtual assistant Alexa to work on the Amazon Echo device. Keep reading to learn more about Alexa by Amazon!

What Is Amazon Alexa | Everything You Need to Know

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What is Amazon Alexa?

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Alexa is Amazon’s version of a virtual assistant much like Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. Alexa is capable of music playback, voice interaction, alarm setting, answering questions, and other simple tasks to help out in day-to-day activities.

What does Alexa do? She can be a big help around the house! Imagine a cooking buddy who can dictate recipes, set the timer, and even convert metrics if your baking cups don’t match the ones in the recipe book. Alexa can also set the mood, play tunes you like and also help out your kids with homework!

When was Amazon Alexa introduced?

Amazon Lab126 developed Alexa, together with Amazon Echo, back in November 2014. Amazon got the inspiration from the popular science fiction movie, Star Trek, which featured a computer system onboard a ship, which had a computer voice and was able to converse almost naturally.

Why did Amazon name it ‘Alexa’?

Knowing that Alexa was inspired by Star Trek, you’re probably wondering why it doesn’t answer the keyword ‘computer’ like the Star Trek system does. This isn’t the case as Amazon found it more apt to have it answer to a word people don’t ordinarily use every day. After a couple of tests, Amazon finally came up with ‘Alexa’ which had an ‘x’ and soft vowels, making it a unique name. Another inspiration for the name is Star Trek’s library of Alexandria, who was the keeper of all knowledge in the film.

How do you use Amazon Alexa?

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To fire up Alexa, you’ll be needing Wi-Fi network and Amazon products compatible with Alexa. This can be the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Spot, Echo Show, or any Alexa-enable device.

Once you’ve set up your device and downloaded the Alexa app, you can begin setting up a default music service, sync your calendars, connect Alexa to your other smart devices, and even download more Alexa skills. After all the installations, downloads, and syncing, it’ll be easy to converse with Alexa and get her to do simple tasks. You can wake her up by calling her name or by changing the default wake up name to something else – a useful feature if you or anyone in the house is named Alexa.

Alexa can wake you up, play music you love while getting ready for work, round-up your day’s to-do list, and even let you know the weather to expect. She can also add and remind you of your grocery list, make calls, order food, tell you movie schedules, remind you of your kids’ activities, and control music or lights in any part of the house – that’s as long as you use compatible devices.

Where can you get the devices compatible with Alexa?

There are speakers with Alexa built-in on them and there are devices which simply work with Alexa. It might come as a surprise but not all Alexa-compatible devices are from the Amazon factory. You can buy the Alexa speakers online, such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, via Amazon or other popular tech stores.

Some of the things you ought to look out for as well when you want an Alexa-driven home is the Philips Hue LEDs and Belkin Wemo Mini Smart Plug. Alexa can control these devices once they’re all set up. Other non-Amazon speakers Alexa can work with are Triby Smart Speakers and Sonos One. You can find these devices at Walmart, Target, and even the Amazon stores.

For more information on what the Amazon Alexa can do, check out this video from Craig’s Tech Talk:

Being among the key player in today’s technology, Amazon developed a virtual assistant that can help you around the house. More than just an e-commerce store, Amazon shows it can level with other tech companies by putting to life a system which used to exist only in fictional films. What more do you think Amazon can do in the future?

Are you planning on getting an Amazon Alexa device? Let us know which one in the comments section below!

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