DPAs (Digital Personal Assistants) are running our lives after 29 years since the first virtual assistant was launched even if you think you’re not using one. The integrating is there for all mobile devices and controls how we manage our day-to-day lives without us evening noticing. Amazon Alexa Virtual Assistant or Alexa launched in 2014 and more than 100m of its Echo and Dot gadgets are available in homes around the world today.
In five years, Alexa is topping the DPA market with 8.2 million users around the world and 61.1% of the US market shares of smart speakers. Amazon is adding more and more features to Alexa. This is why it’s the most intelligent of all assistants in the market.
So, who is Alexa, and what makes it such an important invention?
Alexa Virtual Assistant
In a world that is slowly accepting artificial intelligence as part and parcel of everyday life, Alexa enters as a virtual assistant AI — in essence, a digital voice that can not only recognize spoken commands (and follow through with them) but also talkback, which also makes it a companion of sorts.
With Alexa, one can do a multitude of things. Whether it is answering a plethora of questions (her knowledge knows no bounds), setting alarms, making to-do lists. Also, reading out the news, playing music, conducting internet searches and so much more.
Since Alexa works in partnership with Amazon. You also have the option to order items from the giant by quite literally just talking — how convenient is that?
Over the past few years, Alexa has slowly begun to work along with smart home tech and appliances. Such as lightbulbs, thermostats, blinds, and even security systems. This literally means that you can ask Alexa to turn off the lights, close the blinds, start your DVD player or TV, or change the temperature. All without having to lift even a single finger.
One slightly amusing feature is the ability of Alexa to understand human emotions to an extent whereby it’s able to tell if the user is annoyed and can even go to the lengths of apologizing to them (she’s got more empathy than a regular human).
Getting Started With Alexa
Alexa lives in the cloud and is more than happy to assist you as long as there is access to the internet and a device that can connect to Alexa.
That device is the Amazon Echo — Alexa puts the “smart” in Echo smart speakers, screens, and wearables. While the Echo might have a lot of devices that can work on their own, it is only through Alexa that you can have a ‘smart’ overall experience.
So, in other words, while Alexa is the voice that you talk to which helps you in your tasks, the Echo is a name given to the products themselves which house the AI i.e. Alexa. (don’t get the two confused now!)
Now that we’ve gained a basic understanding of Alexa, let’s have a look at some of its distinct features.
Amazon Alexa Features
Let’s discuss the most important features Amazon Alexa provides that make our lives smart and us smarter.
Best Home Security
Home security remains the most important subject even in this era of innovation and inventions. Amazon Alexa has recently got many features that make it the perfect home guard.
Amazon has been working to make Alexa recognize more than commands. Other than the sounds of glass breaking and smoke alarms going off. Amazon has an adds-on ability to listen to human-related sounds as Guard is set to its “away” mode. These include the sounds of walking, crying, and closing doors when no one is available at home. When hearing one of these signals, Alexa will send an alert to a client.
The Talking Doorbell, or as Amazon likes to call it “Doorbell Concierge”, will shortly make its way into the market. It will be able to ask the visitors questions to know their intentions and helps them with their genuine work.