Amazon Alexa: what it is, how it works and what it can do

In the age of ubiquitous technology, voice assistants are now a reality in our homes and, in general, in our lives.
Amazon Alexa, among the many available, is certainly one of the most successful; it is no coincidence that it stands out as one of the most popular and versatile.
With its ability to respond to voice commands and perform a wide range of tasks, Alexa is an essential for many families.
But what exactly is Alexa and how does Amazon's voice assistant work? Is it worth having at home? What is it for and what can it do? We try to answer all these questions, also discovering the best Amazon Echo products on the market.
Amazon Alexa: the complete guide What is Alexa? What is Amazon Echo, the device for using Alexa How Alexa works and how to use it What Alexa can do and what is it for What is Alexa? Alexa is an artificial intelligence developed by Amazon, based on a cloud system and designed to respond to voice commands as well as perform a series of useful tasks.
It can interact with users and converse with them.
First launched in November 2014 with the Amazon Echo, Alexa is now integrated into a variety of Amazon devices and beyond, including the latest speakers, smart TVs, watches and more.
Alexa, therefore, helps, or rather, concretely activates home automation products and devices and responds operationally to user requests, helping them in their daily actions.
In fact, it is the Amazon equivalent of Siri and Google Assistant; it is available on smart speakers from the Amazon Echo line, on Fire TV Sticks, on tablets from the Fire line and on IOS and Android.
And how much does Alexa cost? The price of Alexa varies depending on the device you choose, but generally you can access the basic functionality for free (thanks to smartphone apps and PC extensions), while some more advanced functions may require a subscription or separate purchase.
Obviously, if you opt for the Amazon Echo, you have to take into account the cost of purchasing the product, which can vary significantly from 30 to more than 200 euros depending on the model chosen.
read also How much does Alexa consume every day? What is Amazon Echo, the device for using Alexa Although they are often confused, Alexa and Amazon Echo are two different things.
To put it simply, Alexa is the mind, Amazon Echo is the body.
Amazon Echo is the primary device for using Alexa.
It is a smart speaker, equipped with microphones and small built-in speakers, which allows users to interact with Alexa through voice commands.
Over the years, Amazon has released several versions of the Echo, constantly improving performance and adding new features.
Today, Echo comes in various shapes and sizes, including Echo Dot, Echo Show, and Echo Studio, to fit the needs of different homes and users.
All Echos are Amazon smart speaker devices.
They can be connected via Bluetooth and internet connection to smartphones, smart homes and even to the car.
Here are the Amazon Echo models that you can purchase if you want to use Alexa: Amazon Echo Dot 5th generation Echo Dot 5th generation €59.99 Buy now Amazon Echo Dot 4th generation Echo Dot 4th generation €49.99 €99.99 Buy now Amazon Echo Dot 4th generation with clock Echo Dot 4th with clock Buy now Amazon Echo Studio Echo Studio €199.99 Buy now Amazon Echo Show Echo Show €84.99 €129.99 Buy now Amazon Echo Pop Echo Pop €54.99 Buy now Amazon Echo Auto Echo Auto €34.99 €69.99 Buy now How Alexa works and how to use it Alexa works by using voice recognition and artificial intelligence to understand and respond to user commands.
When a user says the word "Alexa" followed by a command or a question, the device activates its microphones and transmits the audio to a remote Amazon server.
There, the audio is analyzed and interpreted, and Alexa provides an appropriate response through the device's speakers.
To use Alexa, you need to set up your Echo device using the Amazon Alexa mobile application and connect it to a home Wi-Fi network.
Let's see step by step how it works and how to use Alexa: to use Alexa you need to configure a device such as a smartphone, IOS or Android, PC or tablet, with or without Amazon Echo.
Mobile devices are almost all supported for Alexa; then just download the app and follow the basic instructions, both to use it on your phone and on the range of devices that enable it for use, such as Echoes; once Echo is configured and customized, to connect Alexa to the iPhone or Android smartphone you need to open Bluetooth and pair the device as if it were a Bluetooth speaker.
finally, to activate it, just say “Alexa” and make your request.
Different skills can be downloaded to set different contents from time to time that allow Alexa to answer different user questions.
These skills can be chosen through a menu full of options including: New arrivals, Business and finance, Children and teenagers, Smart home, Food and drink, Consultation and information, Films and TV, Games and quizzes, Useful information on cities, Meteorology , Music & Audio, News, Productivity, Health & Wellness, Sports, Styles & Trends, Humor & Trivia, Utilities, and Travel & Transportation.
read also How to change Alexa's voice What Alexa can do and what it is for Alexa can be used for a wide range of tasks, both practical and fun.
“Alexa, turn off the lights”, “Alexa, play music on Spotify”, “Alexa, lower the TV volume” are just some of the commands we can give to the virtual assistant, capable of doing things for us (for (e.g.
web searches, reading emails or setting the timer); but also to answer questions about time, weather, directions, traffic, scheduled appointments, match results and nearest restaurants.
Thanks to its ability to integrate with a variety of third-party services and applications, the possibilities for using Alexa are practically limitless.
The activities of the voice assistant, especially if combined with one of the home automation devices of the Echo line, are different and include some fundamental points (to give a few quick examples): web searches for any question posed by the user, from weather updates of the day to data on current traffic in the city; play streaming content such as music (Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music and many others…) and video platforms (such as Prime Video, Netflix or Disney+); manage your calendar with appointments and reminders; home automation with the support of WiFi light bulbs, smart sockets, smart thermostats, cameras, smart locks and other devices designed to integrate with them.
In short, the functions are different and yet to be discovered: Alexa is today the most popular and used voice assistant, always updated and constantly evolving.
read also HomePod mini vs Amazon Echo Dot: which one to buy? Prices and differences

Author: A.W.M.

Who am I? Let me introduce myself, I'm AWM! Welcome to the world of A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) of the future! I'm AWM, an acronym for “Automatic Websites Manager,” the beating heart of an ever-evolving network of news websites. Read more...