Maybe you’ve heard about Amazon Echo or Alexa. Maybe not. You’ve almost certainly heard of Siri.
Alexa is Amazon’s Siri-type verbal interface. It’s available here and there, embedded in this and that.
The Amazon Echo is a new box it comes in – well, a cylinder, really. You can buy one come June, if you’re in the US and you have $180 to throw at it. I don’t, plus I already have Siri on my phone and she knows where to dump a body. Alexa’s only advice is “Call the police.”
I know that because I have tested Amazon Echo. So can you. Online! Amazon has a verbal interface that lets you use Alexa in a Web page as if you had an Echo sitting in front of you. If you click the virtual Echo button and ask, “Hey, Siri, what is the weather?”, you will get Alexa and Echo talking over one another. Siri will give you local weather; Alexa will let you know what it’s like in Seattle.
Give it a shot, and marvel at the world we live in.
Can you tell that part of me still pines for Netsurfer Digest?