Even if you are not particularly interested in the whole digital assistant, AI, home automation scene, chances are that you are at least somewhat familiar with projects like Microsoft's Cortana or Apple's Siri. Amazon's Alexa or Echo might also sound familiar, but, due to their novice and still conceptual and developing nature, there remain slightly unapproachable by many users. However, with both Google and Apple already lining up their own offers for the emerging market niche, powerful services like Amazon's Alexa and their hardware implementations might just be the next big thing in the industry.
So what is the deal with Alexa anyway and what can it do for me? Well, that is exactly what Sam Machin decided to showcase with Echosim.io - a demo of the powerful Alexa service for the browser. This nice little project was made possible thanks to Amazon's ongoing effort to popularize the platform and its own smart devices, connected to it, namely the Amazon Echo, Dot and Tap. It is a great way to experience Alexa and how smart is has become before you opt to buy one on these devices and see if it works for you, or perhaps even build a project of your own around it.
That is right, Amazon has opened up the Alexa API along with an invitation to developers and tinkerers to explore and utilize it in their own projects. The online giant even recently released a handy guide on how to make your own DIY Echo device, based on a Raspberry Pi. In light of both Apple and Google already working on rival services and devices, this is undoubtedly a great way to both advance Alexa and expand its reach.
And mind you, it is already a pretty powerful service. Not only can it pull various information, like forecasts, news, status reports and search queries off the internet, but thanks to some impressive third-party support, it is already integrated with various other services, like Uber, Dominos Pizza and a number of popular home automation platforms, allowing it to efficiently take the role of a central home smart hub.
Even if you decide to wait for the whole AI, automation concept to mature, Echosim.io is still worth checking out for a quick glimpse at the the smart home future. We would also love to hear your opinion in the comments. Do you like the concept and who are you betting on in the emerging race?