What is Alexa? Amazon Smart Devices (2nd to 4th Gen) & Solution
The world is evolving rapidly and each day we witness a new technology being introduced into the market. These technologies have made our life much more efficient and comfortable.
AI and AI-related gadgets and services are leading this technological advancement. Amazon Alexa is one of the most popular inventions in the field.
Many of you may have heard about it, which potentially is becoming a household name in the coming times
. As per Amazon, in the last year, it sold 100 million Alexa-enabled smart devices.
You too can buy one from Amazon
In this article, we will review it in detail.
What is Alexa?
In simple terms, the Alexa is a virtual personal assistant controlled by voice commands. It is a cloud-based service that mimics real conversations and works on the principle of contextual responses to help you get the job done.
“Alexa” is simply the “wake word” that alerts the service or device to start listening to your voice commands. In other words, it works like Siri in Apple or Bixby in Android.
For understanding, you can think of it as an App that controls multiple operations of Alexa-enabled smart device/s such as Amazon Echo Dot, Echo, etc.
These astonishing devices are smart speakers that can be operated by voice and, Alexa on these devices can communicate (listen & speak) both in English and Hindi.
The operations/features that it can perform, include voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing weather, traffic, sports, and other real-time information, such as news.
One of the important features that need mentioning here is, it can also control several smart devices using itself as a home automation system.
How to set up Amazon Echo/Echo Dot?
Setting up Echo Dot for the First Time
- Download the Amazon Alexa app through Play Store or Appstore and install it
- Connect the smart device to the phone
- Open the App and sign-up/sign in with your Amazon credentials
- Press Yes for ‘Do you want to set up a device?’
- If your device is not connected to the phone directly (step 2), It will ask you to turn Bluetooth on and select a device that needs connecting.
- Once the device is selected, follow the instructions to set up your device.
Non First Time Setup of Echo Dot
- Open the App
- Connect the smart device to the phone
- Go to more menu
- Select Add device
- Select your respective smart device
- Follow the instructions to set up your device
Refer to detailed instructions in the video
For Alexa to recognize your voice, you will need to configure it during device setup (on the Teach your voice screen, the system prompts you to speak phrases a couple of times).
In order to get the tasks done, it should be connected to a Wi-Fi network as most of the features including the virtual assistant required Wi-Fi connectivity.
Wi-Fi Simple Setup
- Put your Echo device in Setup mode
- Open Alexa App and tap the “Devices” icon in the bottom right.
- Select the respective smart device (If the device is already connected to Wi-Fi would show Online)
- On the next prompt, it shows “Wi-Fi Network,” tap the word “Change.”
- Follow the onscreen prompts to complete your Wi-Fi connection
Note: Echo Dot (1st Generation), Echo (1st Generation), and Amazon Tap do not support a Wi-Fi simple setup. Only second-generation or newer Echo Plus, third-generation or newer Echo Dot support a Wi-Fi simple setup.
Refer to Amazon India in case of any other questions.
How to Use Alexa on Computers/PC?
- Go to https://alexa.amazon.com/
- Sign in to your Amazon account.
- Select the respective smart device and follow the prompts.
What Alexa can Do?
Once set-up is complete, you can ask the Alexa questions such as, “what is the weather today?”, “what are the currency rates?”, “switch the lights on or off?” etc.
Your personal assistant is at your service and all you have to do is instruct it with your voice like you are instructing any human being. Also, you have made it recognize a specific voice when you set it up for the very first time.
This device is a breakthrough in the world of AI and we can predict with its utility that how the future homes will be. Amazon’s is selling various models of echo in the Indian market, check below the price and device:
Alexa has several inbuilt commands and many more are added each day by the users. Also, you can create your command and use it for yourself or publish it for others to use it.
Some of the common commands or tasks are:
- Find your favorite recipe and get the step-by-step directions
- Get the timing of; your favorite matches and shows
- Order food from the restaurants; Use Capital App to pay bills
- Order anything online from Amazon or any other store
- Get Health Related Advice
- Track your Amazon packages
- Get updated with the latest news
- Tracking of Packages ordered from Amazon
- Ask to read your Emails
- Set up some reminders, like to “remind me of cooking chicken when I get home”
- Make your home secure with Alexa Guard and other similar features
Moreover, you can also make Alexa recognize your daily routines. For example, a specific command assigned by you can make a series of changes.
For instance, you can set the “Alexa. Goodnight” command to turn off all the lights and devices such as TV along with Security Systems to get activated.
Similarly, a “Good Morning Alexa” command can be set to turn on all the lights and your coffee machine. There are a lot of other routines/commands that you can use to make your life smart, easy, and efficient.
Check the link to know 101 commands.
What Are Alexa Skills?
Alexa skills are like apps for Alexa-enabled smart devices. Skills let customers use their voices to perform everyday tasks like checking the news, listening to music, playing a game, and more.
Let’s understand by taking a couple of examples, Alexa has a skill called Ola. The skill can be enabled on the devices, this lets users book an Ola cab by saying “Alexa, ask Ola to book a ride.” Using the Ola Cabs skill, you can now book a cab using just your voice.
Similarly, another skill for those who love cooking is Sanjeev Kapoor Smart Recipes, the skill will help you with step-by-step voice instructions to prepare a great dish from a selection of thousands of recipes across Indian and international cuisines.
To enable the skill on the Alexa enabled device, just say, “Alexa, enable Sanjeev Kapoor Recipes” on your device, and ask for a recipe you like.
Skills can be downloaded and configured into your smart device through Amazon India Alexa Skill Store.
Organizations and individuals can now publish skills in India on the Alexa Skills Store to reach and delight customers on hundreds of millions of Alexa devices and earn cash rewards by publishing highly engaging skills to the India Alexa Skills Store.
Bonus: Amazon Alexa has now come up with a new skill i.e. the voice of Bollywood Angry man, the superstar Amitabh Bachchan. The Alexa skill (Amit ji’s voice) is now available to be bought and configured on your Echo devices and Amazon android app to make your everyday conversations more interesting.
Also See – Amazon Deals and Discounts