Amazon Echo now available for purchase without invitation

Amazon Echo

It has been more than 7 months since Amazon announced the Echo, a speaker that doubles as a personal assistant, and in that time Amazon has expanded the capabilities considerably from the somewhat limited initial feature set. While the question of what exactly can it do was a bit of a stumbling block for the Echo, the fact that it was only available by invitation, and even then with a shipping date that was often 4-5 months out, really stacked the deck against early adoption.

While the initial reaction to the reveal was pretty tepid — after all, most of us have devices in our pockets at all times that cover the feature set of the Echo almost completely — the reviews that started coming in were pretty glowing. The user reviews on Amazon are still at a 4.5 out of 5, with more than 18,000 people weighing in, and reviews from the media have remained similarly positive.

The Echo will answer a wide variety of questions, play music or audiobooks, set reminders, make to do or shopping lists, provide updates on sports, news,  weather, traffic or your calendar, integrate with home automation like Belkin WeMo or Philips Hue. There is even IFTTT integration for the internet automation crowd. Amazon has also made an SDK available to developers, and the fruits of that will be available sometime later this year.

I have to say I was not sold on the Echo at all when it was first announced, but the added functionality and the basic utility as a wireless speaker are swaying me. It’s available topurchase now for $179 and will ship starting July 14th.

Are you considering the Echo now that it is widely available for purchase?


[“source –”]