Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is at it again this time around unveiling a wireless speaker that behaves like a personal assistant and able to perform a variety of tasks. Echo is the device that Amazon hopes will compete against more established Siri, Cortana and Google Voice in the voice controlled landscape. Pcmag.com writer, Jill Duffy during an interview on CNBC aired her skepticism of the device being a success at homes where people require minimal assistance.
“I don’t think people really want a smart assistant in their speaker that they are going to have in their home. […] I don’t think this is really what people want; there is an awkwardness to speaking out loud and talking to a personal assistant, and I think there is a time and place. Maybe in your car is the time and place when you want to be able to do that. When your hands are full, and you need to have your eyes focused on the road,” said Mrs. Duffy
Echo is a Bluetooth speaker that can be instructed to stream music, search the cloud for answers as well as prompt users with reminders. Unlike Siri and Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Voice which are bundled on smartphones, Echo has been bundled inside a speaker allowing it to be more nimble. Echo stands at 9-inch tall with seven inbuilt microphones that are embedded at the top of the unit.
Echo has not yet been released to the market for testing, but Duffy expects it to be at par with Siri and Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Voice in terms if functionality and operation. The device might work well with other devices, but the biggest test for Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) according to Duffy is whether it will command the desired hype in terms of usage.
“This is like baby step toward connected home. I think the manual interaction of having to talk to the speaker is just not quite what we are thinking about and where we want to get with the connected home, “said Mrs. Duffy
Popularizing Echo will be the biggest hurdle for Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) according CNBC’s Dominic Chu as Amazon has flopped in the past in terms of fanfare with the likes of Fire Phone.
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