Recently, Amazon, the online retailer and tech giant, has just unveiled two devices – the Tap and Echo Dot. These contain speakers and microphones in order to connect to the Alexa voice-controlled AI. These are the successors to the Echo, which is an Internet-connected shelf speaker which has become a good hit for the past year.
Amazon Brings the Successors to the Echo, Which are the Tap and Echo Dot
With these two new items, Amazon plans to move ahead with their goals to bring the best way to operate our increasingly smarter and more connected homes. This way, they plan on doing that with human voices, rather than using touchscreen interfaces or keyboards. With the use of all three Alexa-powered products, users are able to speak commands to them through their built-in microphones. The company says that it is far easier than tapping, start or stopping tracks, or even turning on the lights in the house. There is also an Alexa virtual assistant which responds with its own voice. This is akin to Apple’s known AI, Siri.
For the Amazon Tap and Echo Dot, they don’t really offer much in terms of leaps in capabilities, but they still aim to get more users to join in on the Alexa family. For those who don’t know, Alexa is where the company gets more data for their AI to learn from.
Let’s start with the Tap, which places the artificial intelligence into a portable Bluetooth speaker. Much like other portable devices that share the similar functionalities, this one can be carried around due to its built-in battery. It is a six-inch tube which has the ability to play music that is transmitted from just about any modern smartphone. Other than being a Bluetooth speaker, it has also Wi-Fi connectivity so it means it can play from other devices within a home network. Users can call upon the use of Alexa by pressing a dedicated microphone button.
As for the Echo Dot, it is a much shorter version than the stationary Echo speaker. It is also a wireless device and can take commands from anywhere around the room. It will start taking commands after it hears the word “Alexa,” or “Amazon.” It has a built-in speaker much like the Tap, but because of its diminutive size, it is not as powerful. However, it is designed to hook with an existing speaker system via an audio-out jack or Bluetooth to give a boost in the overall audio immersive experience.
Amazon created these items with the thought of microphones becoming a bigger deal in today’s smarter and more connected homes. The company even built a physical mute feature into their microphone system so that it won’t accidentally listen without your knowledge.