What is Alexa?

What is Alexa?

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What is Alexa? Let’s find out.

Ian Knighton/CNET

Alexa is Amazon’s virtual assistant, like Siri for the iPhone, but Alexa is built into smart devices like the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Echo Show. There are seven different Amazon-brand Alexa speakers and smart displays available today. 

Say the wake word “Alexa” to your Echo speaker and then, with a simple voice command, you can play music, control smart home devices, shop on Amazon, search the internet, set reminders and more. The Echo has a very powerful microphone that uses what’s called “far-field” technology. It’s so good it can hear you from across a room. 

And if you have multiple Echo speakers, only the closest Amazon device will respond, thanks to a feature called Echo Spatial Perception, or ESP.

Read more: Which Amazon Echo speaker should you buy?

Here’s a list of Alexa’s recognized commands, and here are the various smart home gadgets Alexa can control.  Currently, Alexa is built in to the following devices:

  • Amazon Echo — The Echo costs $100 and is the company’s flagship Alexa smart speaker.
  • Amazon Echo Dot — The Echo Dot costs $50 and is a more affordable alternative to the Echo.
  • Amazon Echo Look — The Echo Look costs $100 and assesses your clothing choices with AI tech.
  • Amazon Echo Plus — The Echo Plus costs $150 and has a built-in Zigbee radio, making it part speaker, part hub.
  • Amazon Echo Show — The Echo Show costs $230 and has a built-in 10-inch screen.
  • Amazon Echo Show 5 — The Echo Show 5 costs $90 and has a built-in 5.5-inch screen. 
  • Amazon Echo Spot — The Echo Spot costs $130 has a smaller screen, but works like the Echo Show and the Echo Show 5.

That list only covers the Alexa-enabled smart speakers and displays that Amazon makes itself. Third-party manufacturers have built Alexa into all kinds of devices, too, including phones, lamps, thermostats, TVs and refrigerators. 

Here’s a guide to getting started with Alexa in your home

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Source: Cnet News
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