During their Black Friday sale last year, we finally took the plunge and picked up Amazon’s Echo with Alexa built in. We have thoroughly enjoyed being able to use it to listen to music through Amazon Music Unlimited, set timers, and being able to voice control turning lights and the TV thanks to devices like the TP-Link Smart Plug.
With this particular smart plug, you can plug it into any conventional wall outlet, and connect anything like a fan, a coffee maker, or in our case, our living room lamp, and can then use Amazon’s Alexa to turn the device on and off.
To celebrate their #1 ranking on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), today only, March 16, Amazon is donating 5% (10 times their usual donation rate) of the purchase price of eligible products you buy at AmazonSmile. It’s the same shopping experience as what you get normally on the site, but the difference instead is that each purchase you make can help to support a charity of your choice. To date, the company says that they have donated over $46 million. At a time when many non profits and charities aren’t sure of what funds and funding they may receive down the road, now is the chance to make a pretty good impact!
Then in other news, according to VentureBeat, starting today, and soon to all iPhone users next week, you will be able to talk to Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa while using the Amazon app. Of course, the AI assistant will be able to assist you with your shopping and tracking of those Amazon Prime orders, but it can also mimic many of the things a regular Alexa unit like the Echo can already do, such as tell jokes, provide updates about the weather, play music, control your Smart Home devices and more.
Wonder how Siri will feel about this?
UPDATE: While the Smile promotion may have ended, we here at Script-Notes would like to encourage you to still consider going this method when making purchases. Charities can always use revenue for their causes!