Online retail giant Amazon has really carved a lead at the top of the smart speaker category with it’s Amazon Echo with Alexa product, especially with its forthcoming Echo Look. This has led to Google offering it’s own speaker product, as well as leading many to think Apple could soon enter the fray with a Siri product of its own, possibly as soon as June reports MacRumors.
That being said, with this offer, you can currently pick up a certified refurbished Amazon Echo with Alexa speaker for well below the list price. Certified refurbished products get tested and certified to look both work and look brand new, as well as coming with warranties. Normally the typical list price of the product is $179.99, with certified refurbished models coming in at $164.99. Now though, it’s available for $134.99.
There is no doubt that Amazon has continued to make way into our households with its Echo devices and smart assistant Alexa. Today, Amazon unveiled a new addition to the Echo family, with its Echo Look device, being offered by invitation only to Prime members. The device is being billed as a “style assistant” camera that will help to catalog your outfits, and assigns your look a rating based on “machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists.”
Each Echo Look comes with a built-in LED light, microphone, as well as a base mount that can either be attached to a wall, or it can be left to be freestanding such as on a nightstand, dresser, etc. It can also work with a companion app that has a Style Check feature for comparing two outfits. If you’re not necessarily interested in the Echo Look, you can access this feature by going to your iOS Amazon app, go to Programs and Features, and look for it in that menu.
Similarly to other Echo devices, with the Look, you can still have Alexa read you your daily news flash briefing, play music, or check on how long it will take you to get to work with traffic estimates. Amazon plans on adding additional skills to the Look also.
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!