‘Echo’ is Amazon’s own home personal assistant

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Amazon on Thursday took the wraps off its new tube-shaped voice-driven home assistant dubbed ‘Amazon Echo’.

The newly launched voice-controlled device, which works same like other digital assistants like Microsoft’s Cortana, Apple’s Siri, or Google’s Google Now, can do things like tell the time, spell words, turn on music, give news and weather information, create to-do lists, set a timer, wake you up in the morning or add items to a shopping list.

Users will be required to set a “trigger” word to enable Echo’s listening. Currently, “Alexa” is the word that serves the purpose.

Echo, which measures 9.25 inches tall, has been equipped with seven microphones and uses so-called far-field voice-recognition technology, to hear and take commands from anywhere in the room.

The device offers hands-free voice control for Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Prime Music and TuneIn. It has Bluetooth to allow for music streaming from services like Spotify, iTunes, and Pandora.

“Echo’s brain is in the cloud … so it continually learns and adds more functionality over time,” Amazon’s product description reads.

“The more you use Echo, the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences.”

According to Amazon, Echo will cost $99 to Amazon Prime subscribers and $199 for rest of us and will be available “in the coming weeks.” The device will be made available on an invitation-only basis.

You can request an invite here.