New smaller/cheaper Amazon Echo reported to be released soon

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(James) #1

The newer version of the Echo will “fit comfortably in the palm of a user’s hand, like a beer can”. It will charge using a docking station and voice commands will be limited to “push-button”.


New portable Echo, the Fox, in the works
#2

The report also states the portable Echo will charge using a docking station and voice commands will be limited to “push-button,” meaning you will have to press a physical button on the device to activate voice commands.

Interesting… I’m not sure how I feel about this.


(fightingmajor) #3

The only thing I would see as positive about this was if it could link to it’s bigger brother to be used in other rooms like an extension.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #4

Hmph… while of course Echo has a lot of features that occur “after” the wake-word; it is not an exaggeration to say that if I have to push a button anyway, then I might as well use a touch based controller (e.g., Minimote, switch, or SmartTiles …).

It’s an understandable move, I suppose, since a large portion of the Amazon Echo cost is the 7-microphone array and DSP used to recognize the wake-word. Still… I hope they find alternative ways for future “cheaper” models.


(Brian Diehl) #5

There is also the possibility of offering a remote for it.

And I have seen some wondering if, while charging, voice commands can use a wake word.

The reason for not using the wake word on battery is that the constant drain from being in an always listening state is too much.

On AC power, that shouldn’t be a problem (although it would charge more slowly)


(James) #6

That is exactly what I was thinking. It would also be nice if you could link them so that announcements could be heard throughout the house. These could be managed similarly to Sonos or Samsung’s multi-room speakers with obvious additional benefits.

Depending on price you could also use these as bedside units. A lot of people put minimotes next to their beds you could replace them with these and have more functionality, minus the annoyance of bothering your wife/husband with voice announcements. I currently have an Amazon Fire hooked up to the TV in my bedroom which works exactly how the stand alone unit would work.


(Christopher Masiello) #7

I was thinking the same thing - nightstand usage. I have mine in my kitchen, but having a few more in the bedroom and living room would be great.


(Larry) #8

Seems like a waste to me. I have a 25 dollar minimote .on my nightstand… and also an echo, but use the.mimimote at night.


(Joshua Lyon (SharpTools.io Dashboard)) #9

While I agree that always on listening can be a challenge for power consumption, my Nexus devices are always listening for the OK Google wake word and the battery on my 6P lasts days without the screen on.

I use OK Google with SharpTools to control SmartThings with my voice as shown in this video at 4:10.


That being said, I still prefer the Echo as it has much better range and is more convenient for voice control in the home. I just wish Google would release an Echo-like product as their knowledge graph is infinitely better. Alexa very rarely can answer the questions I ask her… but “Alex, Wikipedia [Subject]” is sometimes helpful as a workaround.


(Larry) #10

i would love an outdoor rated echo for on the deck


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #11

@Lgkahn,
I do the same thing.
A Minimote on my night stand and one on hers. Another in the guest room and another down stairs.

I also have the echos… And a remote for one of those.

If I wasn’t an echo to carry around the house (not that I need it) I just carry the remote. It fits in my pocket !

If they really want to make abscess, put Alexa in an alarm clock, or a shower speaker, or other house hold devices.


(Brian R) #12

I wish they would add a headphone jack that is stereo so it can be plugged into my A/V receiver to be able to play Pandora or amazon music from the echo and have it play to my receiver which also has a zone for outside.

I did a work around, but its a pain to get working where I pair my echo with my mac mini and create a multi output for audio to go to echo and to my audioengine DAC. then you can somewhat control the audio track, but its clumsy.


(Joshua Lyon (SharpTools.io Dashboard)) #13

I wish we could use voice commands on the Echo to start music playing on the Fire TV (Stick).

Also, sometimes I’m playing a song on the Echo and I would love to be able to transfer it to the FireTV… almost like how you can Chromecast or AirPlay things.


(Brian R) #14

yea, with the audio playing from both the receiver and echo, I then select airplay for my other areas in the house to have the whole house on the same song. like sonos on steroids


(Kevin Tierney) #15

This thing is going to be the 1st 3rd party device to get Echo support. It’s interesting, though not for 200 and not without Android support

http://www.invoxia.com/en/triby

It has wifi voip via the app and you can send little scribbled messages to it from the app. Bit of a novelty but interesting to see 3rd party devices get echo support


(Anthony Gurrieri) #16

All you need is a amazon firetv and you can use your phone to launch Alexa on the Amazon firetv from your cell phone. No need for this push button echo with a fireTV


(Eric) #17

you’ve already got an Alexa phone app. Why not have the Alexa phone app give spoken input to the Echo system, and output responses to the phone?

I guess I’m asking, why does Alexa even need a physical presence in the home?


(Jason) #18

Far Field voice recognition with seamless speaker integration.

But I don’t think that this smaller cheaper echo that doesn’t have always listening is necessary at all.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #19

I can’t understand why people continue to dismiss the significant role that Amazon Echo’s sophisticated hardware plays in their success.


(Barry) #20

Exactly. I’ve been waiting for some form of extension voice module, that was NOT push-button, rather that you can scatter a few around the house, and walk from room to room, issuing voice commands WITHOUT any physical contact. Right now you can only link a single push button remote…
I’d go for multiple push-button “portable” modules, if that was possible, and economically viable, as a temporary stop-gap.