Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

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harrington
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Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by harrington »

QVC is selling the full size Amazon Echo for $74.95 and free shipping. That's an amazing price but do I need one?
runner3081
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by runner3081 »

What would you like to use it for?

We stream music on ours (well, Dot, but same idea), that is it.

Also, there is a code to drop it down to $69.95.
financeidiot
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by financeidiot »

harrington wrote: Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:49 pm QVC is selling the full size Amazon Echo for $74.95 and free shipping. That's an amazing price but do I need one?
No, but it's fun. I like asking what the weather is going to be today and getting my news in the morning. It's like a smart radio that tries to steal your money.
bluebolt
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by bluebolt »

My recommendation is that if you already have any smart home devices, the Echo is a no-brainer as it makes accessing those very convenient.

If you don't, you better really want to use it to play music.

If you don't meet either of those criteria, I wouldn't get it.
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Pajamas
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by Pajamas »

If you have to ask other people if you need one, you don't.
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corwin
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by corwin »

We don't "need" ours but we use it every day. We check weather, listen to music, set timers and ask it random questions. Sometimes we take it on vacation with us.
Jackson12
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by Jackson12 »

If you have mobility issues or know someone who does it might be worth the money. It's amazing how it can be controlled with simple- and sometimes not so simple- voice commands.

It's been tested in nursing homes and with senior citizens who live in their own homes. Nurses or relatives have used it with those who have early stage cognitive issues.

Nurses and relatives can set it for verbal reminders for taking pills, other "to do" items, calendar items like birthdays, alarms for waking up in the morning, getting notifications instantly when mail orders arrive from Amazon ( useful if you're concerned about those who steal packages from doorsteps) and also be notified if you're getting a package that day.

It's the voice control that is so helpful, particularly for those who have trouble getting around. A friend got one for her elderly mother. Although I haven't seen it in action, she says there is a way to get the Echo to call someone's phone but I think the phones have to share the same App.

This would be helpful when checking on an aging relative who insists on living alone but has health issues. The only downside is when it goes offline when the Internet connection fails. It doesn't always reset and has to be manually reset. It takes less than a minute but may still be a nuisance.

Current and previous shows from NPR and other stations can be played by verbal prompts and paused when desired, picking up right where the show left off...whenever there's time. And it is a decent way to get the weather report, news updates, etc.
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VictoriaF
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by VictoriaF »

In this thread, viewtopic.php?f=11&t=227099&start=100 several people have reported Echo as something they regret getting.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
Lynette
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by Lynette »

I absolutely love my Echo's. I have one upstairs and one downstairs in my lounge overlooking the street where I do most of my work. In the mornings while still in bed, I ask Echo for the time and weather. Then I know if I need to water my lawn and the area where I am trying to grow grass seeds. My TV is in another room so I sometimes ask Echo to play NPR or some music. I haven't got into the other skills but after I've ordered something on Amazon I ask Echo where my stuff is. Echo knows when stuff is delivered so I can retrieve it from the front door. I'm sure I could use Echo for more but haven't bothered to get into the other skills.
bloom2708
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by bloom2708 »

Probably not necessary unless you have a specific use in mind.

Any bluetooth speaker (I have a Bose SoundLink Mini) will work.

The "Silver" version (SNL skit) seems to be more useful. :wink:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvT_gqs5ETk

The "Uh huh" feature could be very useful. :o
Last edited by bloom2708 on Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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simmias
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by simmias »

VictoriaF wrote: Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:47 pm In this thread, viewtopic.php?f=11&t=227099&start=100 several people have reported Echo as something they regret getting.

Victoria
If "several" means "two." :P

More people in that thread were defending it from what I read.

I received mine as a gift and thought I would never use it. Instead I use it every day. To each their own.
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StevieG72
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by StevieG72 »

Ehh....

Novelty will likely wear off in short time.

Side note, I have issues with voice recognition with both my vehicle & Siri. Me and Siri broke up it was so bad. A friend setup an Echo and experienced some voice recognition issues.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.
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DanMahowny
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by DanMahowny »

I have an Echo, and an Echo Dot.
I paid much more than $79.
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GeneralPerson
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by GeneralPerson »

financeidiot wrote: Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:06 pm It's like a smart radio that tries to steal your money.
I suspect that you picked up this line from the Echo project's functional specifications.
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VictoriaF
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by VictoriaF »

simmias wrote: Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:11 pm
VictoriaF wrote: Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:47 pm In this thread, viewtopic.php?f=11&t=227099&start=100 several people have reported Echo as something they regret getting.

Victoria
If "several" means "two." :P
But those two comments were "echoed" by other posters {smirk}.
simmias wrote: Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:11 pmMore people in that thread were defending it from what I read.

I received mine as a gift and thought I would never use it. Instead I use it every day. To each their own.
Sure. The OP of this thread will hopefully get some useful information from the one I referenced.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
angelbell
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by angelbell »

I don't know about you, but I need mine... :D
I have Echo Show in my bedroom. Alexa wakes me up in the morning (alarm), reads/shows news flash & local weather, and let's me know my schedule for the day from my Mac Calendar. During the day, she shows me live view of my front door and back gate if someone is at the door or rings my doorbell (works with Ring Doorbell) . I like to read at night, and she'll turn off all the lights when I get sleepy. She'll also turn on the living room lamp if I get thirsty in the middle of the night so I don't stub my toe on the way to the kitchen.
I have Echo Dot in the kitchen. Alexa helps me cook with a timer, read recipes, do metric conversion, etc. Request artist/song/genre and she'll play music from my playlist or from Amazon Music. Or she'll read the breaking news or play games with me while I chop the vegetables. If I notice something is low in the refrigerator, she'll add it to my shopping list. She can also order from Amazon for me, or lets me know what "Alexa Deal is for the day".
All this is done by voice command.

It's fun to carry on a conversation with Alexa too. I asked her how old she is and her sassy answer: "I'm 2 in human years, 14 in dog years, and 25 in cat years. I think A. I. years are marked by nano seconds, so that makes me like a scrillion..."
Not a good idea to have Siri and Alexa on at the same time, though. Alexa was reading me news flash, and whatever she said, Siri looked it up on the internet and they were talking over each other! :wink:
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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by oldcomputerguy »

I got a Dot. It's a toy. So far I'm having fun playing with it. Credit where credit is due, its voice recognition seems to work really well.
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lthenderson
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by lthenderson »

My analogy is that Echo is like a smart phone. You don't need one but they are awfully handy to have around. I can adjust my thermostat or lights with it. I get daily news and weather updates. By far the two most used features is to stream my music collection or to use it as a hands free timer. Since I got an echo, I haven't bothered to use my stereo system anymore and will probably put it in the garage sale pile.
Jeff Albertson
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by Jeff Albertson »

I use mine a lot to stream internet radio, much more convenient & cheaper than a single-purpose internet radio.
harrychan
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by harrychan »

We use our Echo and Echo dot regularly. Some of our uses:

-adding items to our shopping list
-setting timers while in the kitchen
-setting timers to get kids to read / sleep / shower / xyz
-finding out who is right when we get into an argument (alexa, how far is hawaii to california?)
-check calendar for events
-change the temp on thermostat (we have a smart thermostat)
-play jeopardy
-listen to newsflash when i'm eating breakfast
-background music (usually hawaiian radio on pandora) during a party
-check weather
-check any sports score
-check traffic
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by SmileyFace »

No you don't need one and $75 isn't a good price if you are asking the question.
(BTW - Amazon themselves have occasionally discounted down to this price - it isn't so "amazing").
MrNewEngland
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by MrNewEngland »

You absolutely positively don't need one.

I absolutely positively love mine.

I'm very happy I bought it and use it almost daily.

If you're ok with spending the money on it you should get it. If you're a Prime member it's even more worth it for the music.

But there's no way you NEED it.
MrNewEngland
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by MrNewEngland »

You absolutely positively don't need one.

I absolutely positively love mine.

I'm very happy I bought it and use it almost daily.

If you're ok with spending the money on it you should get it. If you're a Prime member it's even more worth it for the music.

But there's no way you NEED it.
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Taz
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by Taz »

Need no, but there are lot of not necessary devices that make life a touch easier (and somewhat whimsical). I have 1 Echo, 2 Shows, and 2 dots. I initially bought it to interface with my home automation/smart home stuff to control lights, thermostat, etc.

Here's a useful thing that someone else hasn't mentioned: Rather than buy fancy outdoor speakers than have to be wired in or protected from the elements, we unplug the Echo from one of the rooms in the house and plug it in by the pool to play Amazon Prime music or music I've uploaded to Prime (you can also use a Spotify or Pandora account). I can use it to call to one of the other echo devices in the house and ask someone to bring me a drink, towel, etc. Amazon just implemented a multi-room audio audio feature so you can play your morning news briefing in the bedroom and in the kitchen, or music for a party.

It is the perfect bedtime sleep device -- "Alexa, play relaxing sleep music. Alexa, stop playing music after 22 minutes."
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Teague
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by Teague »

I asked my really smart neighbor who works for the NSA. He seems to think everybody should have one.
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rupalb9
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by rupalb9 »

I have had an Echo since it first came and it is in our (large) family room. It is used to listen to our music stored in Amazon Drive (250 songs are stored for free), radio stations, podcasts, to set timers while cooking and connect audio from my phone via Bluetooth.
I recently bought Google Home for my study on the same floor. I can do all of the above functions on it. It also recognizes mine and my wife's voice. It reads our calendars back to use and dials out phone calls on our landline (which is connected to Google Voice) after looking up phone numbers in our Google Contacts.
I like gadgets.
4nwestsaylng
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by 4nwestsaylng »

Teague wrote: Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:20 pm I asked my really smart neighbor who works for the NSA. He seems to think everybody should have one.
Exactly. I think you have nailed it. I have concerns about some of the agendas of Mr.Bezos at Amazon, Mr.Schmidt at Google, and of course Mr.Zuckerberg.

I would suggest you read the books "Animal Farm" and "1984"(which were once read in our schools, but they have probably burned the copies), and then decide if you really want a voice recognition "helper" in your house, or on your phone.

Put another way, many banks and brokerage firms now offer voice recognition as part of their security apparatus. So are you willing to send all your bank and brokerage passwords to Google or Facebook or Amazon? You might as well send them your fingerprints, but then they don't need them...they have your voiceprint!

That's what you are doing, but I agree they make it so attractive with all the "features".
miles monroe
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by miles monroe »

i bought mine not really knowing what i would use it for...and now that i've had it for over a year...i wouldn't want to live without it!!!
keystone
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by keystone »

miles monroe wrote: Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:44 am i bought mine not really knowing what i would use it for...and now that i've had it for over a year...i wouldn't want to live without it!!!
+1. I went back and forth on whether I should get one for at least a year but took advantage of the last sale on Prime day. My family loves it and I am happy that we get a lot of good use out of it.
LeSpy
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by LeSpy »

Nope, you don't need it. Its an overrated and useless toy that also invades your privacy in very intrusive ways.
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Pajamas
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by Pajamas »

If you already have speakers, you might consider the Echo Dot instead. It's basically the Echo but without the built-in speaker.

https://www.amazon.com/All-New-Amazon-E ... B01DFKC2SO

The Echo has "immersive 360 degree audio", but it's not stereo.

There is a comparison table on the Amazon product page.

If you are interested in home automation, it's probably the easiest and least expensive way to get started with voice control of lights and similar.

Something else you might consider is that Alexa is now available in non-Amazon devices, such as this one that is new to the market:

https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker ... -announced

There are plenty of other devices that substitute for the Amazon devices or that are compatible with Alexa:

https://www.amazon.com/s/&field-keywords=Alexa
SirToolman
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by SirToolman »

I got one about a year ago because I love gadgets and technology. I don't really use it that much. Doesn't help that the dog is terrified of it.
LiterallyIronic
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by LiterallyIronic »

Of course you don't need it.

Everything it does can be done with other means. Add things to your calendar? Write it on the calendar hanging on your wall. Turn on the lights? Flip the light switch. And so on.

I would never use a voice recognition device because I keep my tinfoil hat on nice and tight (my phone doesn't have Okay Google or Siri), but obviously people are getting use out of having it. Probably its best bang-for-the-buck is home automation, if that's something you want, or if you're big on talking to your stuff (and having it talk back), then an Echo is right up your alley.
wrongfunds
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by wrongfunds »

Teague wrote: Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:20 pm I asked my really smart neighbor who works for the NSA. He seems to think everybody should have one.
If your neighbor was actually smart *and* worked for the NSA, you would NOT know it at all! If you did, you would be dead :-)
deltaneutral83
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by deltaneutral83 »

I use it as a dictionary when I'm reading the bounty of knowledge on BH's. Worth it for just that after 3 months.
miles monroe
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by miles monroe »

LiterallyIronic wrote: Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:33 am

Everything it does can be done with other means. Add things to your calendar? Write it on the calendar hanging on your wall. Turn on the lights? Flip the light switch. And so on.
well, i guess that will work if you take the calendar off the wall and carry it around with you. or you can let alexa put it on your calendar (or shopping list) in the alexa app on your phone and always have it with you.
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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by Earl Lemongrab »

Some Bogleheads might need the "Silver" version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvT_gqs5ETk
fatlever
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by fatlever »

Teague wrote: Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:20 pm I asked my really smart neighbor who works for the NSA. He seems to think everybody should have one.
Between the Arlo cameras in every room, Alexa and Echo, I must have a lot of data to employ several NSA agents then :mrgreen:

Doing my best to stimulate the econmy
LiterallyIronic
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by LiterallyIronic »

miles monroe wrote: Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:04 pm
LiterallyIronic wrote: Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:33 am

Everything it does can be done with other means. Add things to your calendar? Write it on the calendar hanging on your wall. Turn on the lights? Flip the light switch. And so on.
well, i guess that will work if you take the calendar off the wall and carry it around with you. or you can let alexa put it on your calendar (or shopping list) in the alexa app on your phone and always have it with you.
Jeez, your calendar must be crammed with stuff. Mine's empty 9 days out of 10, easily. I mean, what am I going to put? "Go to work"? I don't need to put repeating events on my calendar - I know when and where they are. And one-off things just end up on my to-do list (or shopping list), not my calendar, which does happen to be a piece of paper that I take with me. The Alexa app requires Android 4.4 or above, so even if I wanted to use it, I couldn't. :)
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wander
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by wander »

No, I do not need Amazon Echo because I've already had enough or too many tech stuffs. Most people need an Echo for weather forecast and play music, since my smartphone can do the same thing, then why should I pay more for? Amazon can control TV, lights but I can also do this with app on my phone also. When I call a person, I want to make sure that I see the number or the name before dial, with an Echo, just to be sure. I do have extra money, but cannot make up my mind to own one.
Marjimmy
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by Marjimmy »

No, you do not NEED an echo. Period.
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sschullo
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by sschullo »

Echo does some amazing things. I show it off with friends.

Examples of questions:
Life's unpredictable. Let me help.
Just ask, "Alexa, tell me a life hack."
________________________________________
• "Alexa, tell me a story."
• "Alexa, what happened today in history?"
• "Alexa, recommend a skill for me."
With 15,000+ skills, Alexa can help you discover new favorites.
• "Alexa, play Game of Thrones on Fire TV."
Learn how to control your Amazon Fire TV with your Echo Device.
• "Alexa, what's my sports update?"
• "Alexa, who's your favorite superhero?"
• “Alexa, what happened during the enlightenment?"
• "Alexa, add 'call mechanic' to my to-do list."
• "Alexa, what's on my to-do list?"
• "Alexa, let’s play a game."
• "Alexa, who's your favorite Game of Thrones character?"
• "Alexa, how does my day look?"
Learn how to sync your calendar with Alexa.
• "Alexa, open Thunderstorm Sounds."
• "Alexa, turn the volume to 6."
• "Alexa, how many games back are the Giants?"
• "Alexa, who has the most home runs in baseball?"

When I ask her "Alexa, what is Model Portfolio Theory?" She says "Sorry I am not sure." Well, I am not sure either! :happy

It's great for something I really need. My vocabulary and spelling are horrible so I ask for word definitions while I am reading and spelling when I am writing. Yes, Alexa can spell antidisestablishmentarianism.

There are modules to connect to my Nest thermostat, house lights, and other appliances. I am sure Tesla is working on a connection in which I can tell Alexa to start the car's AC in the summer or the heater in the winter. I can do that now with my iPhone, but I would rather just say it!

The future of this device is endless. We have no idea how far this can go.

Right now my grandparents who died in the 1930s HAVE NO IDEA what kind of life their grandson leads! Like wise, we have no idea what kind of life our descendants will lead in the 22nd century.

The Echo is a symbol of looking forward to the future. I thank all of the bright people who created these amazing devices.
"We have seen much more money made and kept by “ordinary people” who were temperamentally well suited for the investment process than by those who lacked this quality." Ben Graham
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goingup
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by goingup »

Love ours. You might enjoy one too!
Here's a sample of recent uses:
Alexa...
Will it rain today?
What time does Nordstroms open?
Play some Astrud Gilberto music.
Set the timer for 10 minutes.
How old is George Hamilton?
What movies are playing at Regal Cinema?
Xpe
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by Xpe »

It's nice and a novelty by itself, but if you have anything else that connects it becomes very useful.

Some things we use it for by itself:
weather, news, cooking timers, music.

Some things we use it via integrations:
Find my wallet / phone etc. (integrated w trackr and tile)
Adjust the temperature (integrated w nest)
Turn off the lights (integrated with.. wimo?)
Intercom (multiple echos can be used to call from one to the other)

I'm happy I have it, but I think it's about even value with the costs, 50/50 I'd buy it again if I didnt already have it. Got the echo for xmas, bought a couple dots subsequently for intercom to have one in my office.
angelbell
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by angelbell »

Earl Lemongrab wrote: Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:47 pm Some Bogleheads might need the "Silver" version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvT_gqs5ETk
The what?... I don't know about that :wink:
mrsbetsy
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by mrsbetsy »

Always consider the impact "lifestyle creep" has on your decisions. So you get the Echo...are you going upgrade when the next version or toy comes out? What does that expense look like over a lifetime.

For us, the answer is easy. No.

Look out the window if you want to know how the weather is doing.
scubadiver
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by scubadiver »

I'm going out on a limb here...No, you do not need an Amazon Echo.
PFInterest
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by PFInterest »

Pajamas wrote: Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:09 pm If you have to ask other people if you need one, you don't.
:wink:
mptfan
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by mptfan »

harrington wrote: Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:49 pm QVC is selling the full size Amazon Echo for $74.95 and free shipping. That's an amazing price but do I need one?
No.
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MP123
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Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Post by MP123 »

Sending every word said in my house to Amazon to be analyzed? :shock:

No thanks.
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