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Amazon Alexa

Alexa is the name of Amazon's smart voice assistant. This product features voice recognition and synthesis technology, as well as artificial intelligence, meaning that its intuitive capability and the relevance of the interactions improve the more it's used.

Amazon Alexa is a voice interaction tool that, using an app installed on a smartphone or by giving verbal commands to a smart speaker, allows you to listen to music and perform a variety of tasks. Alexa can also be used to control certain smart devices using your voice and to automate interactions with compatible smart objects.

The Alexa app: a voice-controlled smart assistant

Available on the Amazon Appstore, Google Play and the Apple App Store, the Alexa app allows you to use the smart assistant on all compatible Android and iOS devices. To verbally communicate with the assistant, all you have to do is activate the voice mode. You can then use all of the compatible services directly in the app: play music, set up alarms, create lists, view the weather, read the news, etc.

To improve the voice recognition you can send Amazon feedback about the quality of your communication with the assistant at any time. This refines the tool and improves the user's interaction with the app.

What can you do with Alexa?

Alexa allows you to manage various functions: listen to music, listen to the audio version of a book, set up alarms and reminders, create and modify lists (tasks, shopping, etc.), ask for weather forecasts, find out information based on Wikipedia articles, etc.
Alexa users can also make and receive calls to/from compatible devices in the app. It's also possible to send and receive messages, as well as video calls in the case of devices that have a screen.

The app also allows you to manage Alexa devices (e.g. the Echo speaker) and compatible smart devices such as headphones. Users can also set up routines, i.e. series of actions linked to a defined voice command, or activate skills that add new features to the Alexa device used.

When using it for the first time or getting used to Alexa and the voice control, users also have a list of "things to try" in the app, which provides examples of phrases to say or commands to activate.
  • Controlling smart devices using routines
With Alexa you can also create routines that automate the interactions between your compatible smart objects and your Alexa devices. All you have to do is define the trigger of the routine and the action to perform on the desired device.
  • Activating and managing skills
Amazon provides developers with an Alexa skills kit, i.e. a set of application programming interfaces (API) that can be used to create new skills. These new skills are made available to users in the app and can be activated on any device that includes Alexa. The range of services provided by the device is continually growing and it's becoming possible to interact with more and more connected objects (smart thermostats, smart cameras, lighting, etc.) and apps like Uber. Discover all our products

The Echo smart speaker with Alexa

Echo is the smart speaker designed by Amazon. Featuring the Alexa smart voice assistant, it offers far more possibilities than a standard speaker used to play music. A direct rival of the Google Home and Apple HomePod, the device connects to Wi-Fi and is managed via an app. A new smart home product, the smart speaker is a hugely popular system that is attracting growing numbers of users.

Part of its huge success is down to its audio quality. Its powerful speaker and 360° Dolby audio make it perfect for listening to music at home, wherever you are in the room where the speaker is. Echo can play music directly from Amazon Music, Deezer and Spotify for a wide range of songs in optimal audio quality.

However, Echo isn't just a music playing system like standard audio speakers. It's a genuine smart home device that includes all the features of Alexa. With its seven integrated microphones, Echo allows long-range voice recognition and easier interaction with the smart assistant. Just saying "Alexa" out loud activates Echo, which can then do what you ask it: switch your calls to hands-free, play music, find news updates, see weather forecasts, your upcoming appointments, etc. Echo acts as your everyday assistant and can even manage your other smart objects thanks to Alexa: from switching on smart bulbs to managing the heating, you can do everything with this smart speaker.

Other Echo devices: Echo Dot, Echo Tap and Echo Spot

Alexa is included not only in the Echo speaker but also in other devices from the same range: Echo Dot, Echo Tap and Echo Spot. These various devices can also be used to play music in different rooms in your home.
  • Echo Dot
Echo Dot is a miniature version of the original Echo. It's designed as an add-on module of Amazon Echo and is placed in another room to provide the features of Alexa anywhere in your home. Less expensive, it's also smaller and much lighter (163 g versus 821 g for the original version of Echo).
  • Echo Tap
The range was expanded with another smart speaker, the Echo Tap, which features two stereo speakers and 360° multidirectional audio. Although it also features voice control, you need to switch on the speaker's microphone to use Alexa.
  • Echo Spot
Meanwhile, the Echo Spot is the alarm clock version in the Echo range. Featuring a camera and an integrated screen, it allows you to make video calls. It also offers the same features as Alexa: play music through the integrated speaker or external speakers via a cable or Bluetooth, get answers to questions, voice control of smart objects in the home, etc.

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