On Thursday, Amazon introduced what might just be its weirdest gadget yet. It’s called the Echo. Essentially it’s a Wi-Fi-connected speaker you can talk to, sort of like Siri or Google Now. To wake it up, just bark the activation word “Alexa.”
You can ask Echo questions and issue all sorts of commands, per Amazon, like:
- Set an alarm for 8 a.m.
- How many teaspoons are in a tablespoon?
- Play music by Bruno Mars
- Will it rain tomorrow?
- Add gelato to my shopping list.
Echo syncs with a companion app in Fire OS and Android, and you can also stream other music services outside of Amazon via Bluetooth, like Spotify or iTunes. It relies on something called far-field voice recognition to hear you from wherever you are in the room, but blah blah blah–don’t take my word for it. Let this Cool Dad casted by Amazon explain it in this handy video; bonus points if you make it through the whole thing: