Introducing the Amazon Echo: the BT Shop Guide to the Ultimate Smart Home Accessory

Everyone loves new and innovative gadgets designed to change the way we do things and how we live our lives. Everything these days needs to be “smart” whether it’s a phone, your lights or even your fridge that understands when you’re low on certain items and orders new stock for you.

A lot of the very latest smart home systems have been developed with voice control in mind and making life even easier for homeowners, and we’ve reached the point where we now have the ultimate smart home accessory – the Amazon Echo.

Amazon Echo - shop.bt.com
Amazon Echo – shop.bt.com

This relatively small but incredibly powerful device has been built around the Alexa voice service, similar to Apple’s Siri, and doesn’t require any kind of physical control. This hands-free speaker is controlled purely by the user’s voice beginning with “Alexa…” and you can then ask the system to give you the latest news, play specific music, to update you on the football score, give you a weather forecast and much more.

A multifunctional and fully compatible smart home accessory

The Amazon Echo is fully compatible with a variety of different smart home devices and systems including the Philips Hue wireless lighting system and Hive smart heating. It’s easy to make the assumption that it would only control specific branded products or those that collaborate with Amazon and its technologies, but with Alexa the capabilities are almost endless.

If you’ve got Philips Hue smart lights in your home then you can say “Alexa, switch off the lights” and that’s exactly what will happen. All you have to do is connect the apps to the systems and you’re in complete control.

It is even possible to connect the Amazon Echo smart speaker to a range of systems that aren’t built into the package, such as iTunes. The Bluetooth-enabled smart speaker allows you to pair your devices and stream your favourite tracks from your phone or tablet through the speaker seamlessly.

The Echo has seven individual microphones each capable of picking up your voice from around the room, even in particularly noisy environments. In fact, it’s often when the room is filled with noise that the Echo – and Alexa – really comes to their own.

A smart speaker getting smarter all the time

Once you’ve bought an Amazon Echo smart speaker there’s no need to worry about it going out of date in a few months’ time when a new model is released. The devices is constantly connected to the Internet and updated through the cloud, enabling it to add new functions and features and to learn more and more about its environment.

The more you use your Amazon Echo and the more frequently it updates itself, the more it adapts to your own speech patterns, your vocabulary and personal preferences including the time of day that you set alarms or switch lights off. Recent updates have enabled the Echo to collaborate with the likes of Google and Outlook.com for more in-depth searches and to check emails, takeaways, train times and Audible audio books.

Here at BT Shop we stock a wide range of smart home products, systems and accessories so be sure to look around our online store for the latest offerings and some great deals.

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