Latest Update Brings New Skills To The Amazon Echo

January 2, 2016 - Written By Kishalaya Kundu

Amazon is known to roll out regular updates to its Echo wireless speaker that allows the device to stand out from a whole host of similar devices from a number of manufacturers. The latest update to the Echo, rolled out through its dedicated app on Google Play and Amazon Appstore, now brings forth a number of added functionality that were not thus far present in the device. One of the newly introduced features will allow the connected speaker to help users with their regular workout schedules. All you need to do to activate the feature, is say, “Alexa, start 7-Minute Workout”. That will get the device to start its regimen of exercises that are “designed to increase metabolism, improve energy, lower stress, and remove fat”.

Beyond helping users with their workout routines, Amazon’s very own intelligent personal assistant can also respond to a couple more new commands, one of which is “Alexa, Ask Fidelity”. This will then need to be followed by the name or ticker symbol of a publicly listed company tracked by the asset management firm, for Alexa to check up on the company’s financial health and inform its users about it. For example, “Alexa, Ask Fidelity how Amazon is doing” will help users get the latest financial information regarding the world’s largest online retail business. The speaker is also a veritable repository of knowledge on the US Presidential nomination debates and can answer questions regarding the same, when asked about it. One fun thing about the latest update to Alexa is that the voice assistant has now garnered the ability to come up with surprise messages, when asked about its New Year’s resolution.

For those still wondering what Amazon Echo might be, it’s a wireless speaker that is designed and developed by the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon. While it will stream audio via Bluetooth, its abilities go far and beyond that of a standard Bluetooth speaker, of which, there are a dime a dozen. The Echo comes with an intelligent voice service that answers to the name Alexa, much like Google Now responds to ‘OK Google’, Apple’s Siri responds to ‘Hey Siri’ and Microsoft’s Cortana responds to ‘Hey Cortana’.