Amazon has released their contribution to the world of voice activation and tech personal assistants – Amazon Echo.
The Amazon Echo is a challenger to Apple’s Siri, Microsoft Cortana and Google Now.
The Echo comes in the form of a wireless voice-activated home speaker and the home of its personal assistant- Alexa. Users can speak commands or ask questions to Alexa who will reply in a British accent.
The voice-recognition software is meant to be the best available, with Amazon claiming to have spent the last year teaching various British accents. This is to avoid users having the frustration of repeating themselves again and again which can lead to a desire to throw the device out of the nearest window.
The Echo has the ability to control other devices and services. It can play music on command, order items from Amazon, pull news from the internet, track activity with Fitbit, order a taxi with Uber, get recipes online and order a take out from JustEat. The Echo is just another step within the Internet of Things.
Jessica Ekholm, a research director for Gartner, claims that “ a connected home will be easily achievable for most in a few years. The use of voice as a command for connected home solutions is easier to use than an app: why use an app to control your home when you can just ‘shout’ at it?”
The Echo will be able to connect to certain digital home appliances to control lighting, heating and TV channels.
So how does it compare to competitors?
Apple’s Siri is currently only available on portable devices such as the iPhone. However, it is rumored that Apple are in the process of developing a Siri inhouse speaker. Apple have already launched the HomeKit system that is connected through all Apple devices which can allow users to control connected home appliances. The main advantage that Apple Siri will have over Amazon Echo is language. Apple have developed a multilingual Siri unlike Amazon which is limited to English. However, according to Techcrunch.com, if launched the new Apple device will be significantly more expensive than Amazon’s offering. The Amazon Echo is currently $180 or £149 and the Apple device is rumored to cost around $300.
Google also announced the launch of Google Home which is their version of the home speaker. The release date and price is still unknown but it is rumoured to be released later this year. Google’s device will allow users to customise their device with different colours and lights to blend into their home style, a feature which the Amazon Echo lacks.
So how do the big three competitors compare online?
We used our Adoreboard analytics tool to analyse what people have been saying online about the Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit and Google Home.
As you can see the Amazon Echo has an Adorescore of 54 which is significantly higher than the Apple HomeKit (38) and Google Home (18). The top high intensity emotions evoked are ecstasy and Admiration. This could be due to the recent launch in the UK and German market which means that a higher volume of people are talking about it online with excitement than the Apple HomeKit and Google Home which are yet to be launched.
Both the Apple HomeKit and Google Home are well positioned to compete with Amazon Echo. Amazon Echo has had great success in the US and given how people are talking about it, it will undoubtedly will be successful throughout the UK and Europe too.