[WHOA...] Amazon Echo Dot Has ESP?

Category: Gadgets

Amazon isn’t satisfied with a home run; it has to have a grand slam. The e-commerce giant seems have hit one with three blockbuster releases of its voice-powered personal assistant. Read on to learn about the newest member of the Echo family. And does it have ESP? Hmmm...

What's New With Echo Dot 2?

First came the tall, speaker-rich original Echo ($179); then the hockey puck-sized Echo Dot, priced at just $99; and now a second-generation Dot that does everything the original Echo did, and more, for only $50.

The Echo Dot 2 is slightly smaller than the first Dot. Its speakers are equivalent to a smartphone’s - not high-fidelity, but adequate for close-range communication. But you can also connect the Dot 2 to your own speaker system via a 3.5 mm plug or Bluetooth for surround-sound weather reports.

The Dot 2 includes 7 microphones and advanced noise-cancelling technology, so it can hear your voice commands from across the room, even in the midst of a chatty party or while music is playing. (Among the 3,000 “skills” or apps that the Dot 2 has are Spotify, Amazon Prime Music, and TuneIn.) The Dot 2 can read the day’s news to you, provide weather conditions and forecasts for specified locations, and access other information services. It also has alarm functions.

Amazon Echo Dot 2

Amazon got an early start in this voice-controlled home-automation market, and it wants to solidify that lead ahead of anticipated competition from Google Home. (See my article Is There an ECHO in Here?) Google Home is not yet available; even the price has not been announced. Google seems to be promising a device that does what Amazon Echo (and its tiny sibling, Dot) do, only better. Time will tell.

Amazon is hoping you will install Dots in all the rooms of your home. To encourage that, Amazon is offering deals on six-packs of Dots. Buy five and get one free, or buy ten and get two free. The Dot 2 incorporates new ESP technology which ensures that the Dot device closest to you responds to your spoken queries. ESP will also be added to older Echo devices via an automatic firmware upgrade.

Wait... This Thing Has ESP?

Oh, I should mention that in this context, ESP is "Echo Spatial Perception" and not "Extra-Sensory Perception." But after using this gadget for a while, you might wonder if it can actually read your mind.

The Dot 2 can also control smart-home devices made by WeMo, Philips Hue, Hive, Netatmo, tado and others. This is Amazon’s real focus; it wants Dots throughout your home controlling every appliance you use -- and sending to Amazon data about what you use, how you use it, and when you use it. That might give you pause if you’re concerned about privacy.

The big takeaway here is that two of the biggest data-miners of all time have their sights on your home and everything that goes on in it. You have to ask yourself if you want to let them in.

Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "[WHOA...] Amazon Echo Dot Has ESP?"

Posted by:

22 Sep 2016

I find that my Echo (Alexa) is tedious in many ways.
Every time I get an email saying Alexa has learned a new skill, it mostly involves precise phrasing of the questions for the skill to activate. I find that aggravating to no end.
I find Alexa good for taking shopping lists, broadcasting news and weather, playing music and a few other things, but it fails on many levels when you ask about things a simple web search could answer. Sometimes she surprises me, but more often than not disappoints.

Posted by:

22 Sep 2016

It continues to amaze me that so many people are welcoming such intrusive devices into their homes. Do they realize they are inviting the criminal element into their most crucial safe spaces? Absolutely incredible! And don't be surprised when the power company resets your thermostat without your permission.

Posted by:

22 Sep 2016

Not for me, at all! I will use my remote controls for my TV & accessories I use. I have a sound bar for my TV. The sound on TVs is notoriously bad and finally, mine are raspy and sound like the speakers have blown. So, I added a sound bar.

I have a very simplistic thermostat for my heating & cooling. I have simple locks on my outer doors, which open with a key only. I do like the Kwikset new bolt-lock, but, it does involve using the newest technology - Coding a keyless entry. For a tech-savvy thief, they could get entry fairly easily. However, for a family with kids, the need for a key is not necessary - A BIG plus factor for key-latch kids!!!

Basically, I am too old and don't have the financial means to take on all of the new home technology. In looking over the products you have mentioned in the past, the prices are beyond my means. The internal problem of being on a "fixed income", lack of extra money.

Posted by:

Jay R
22 Sep 2016

It I was rich enuf to afford one, I might live in a house big enuf to justify one. The great thing about the exponential rise of tacky, er-techy, things is that it helps me embrace my antiquity. Alexa and Cortana can go shopping and get a sax change.

Posted by:

22 Sep 2016

Echo sucks...Extremely limited search abilities...mandatory phraseology....If it were as agile as "OK Google" then it would be worthwhile.

Posted by:

22 Sep 2016

This may be good for your home if you want such a thing but I would need to question its security features as I wouldn't want someone to remotely hack into it.

Posted by:

22 Sep 2016

"Hmm, I am not sure what you meant by that question"

Posted by:

Al S
23 Sep 2016

Hate all these type of apps, Cortana gives me absolutely wrong answers and websites. Google Chrome also changes whatever I say making me look like a fool to my friends. When I use my Messenger instead of typing what O want it also changes some words, even worse when I use the Mike to say something it also changes the entire sentence. There is always the Phone.

Posted by:

23 Sep 2016

I wouldn't have one of these devices in my home if they paid me. Not only no but hell no!

I have enough concerns about my so called smart phone.

Posted by:

23 Sep 2016

Just when I think I ma the only one who can't afford, don't trust, etc., all these new devices, I am very pleased to learn that I am not alone.

Cortana, etc: I will always turn it OFF...and leave it off.

What's wrong with using a key? Install the lock upside down for more security--got that from a locksmith.

Posted by:

25 Sep 2016

I for one am not interested in such a device, though for texting I have enjoyed a speak free and let the phone do the typing... with mixed results... But i could see an individual with impairments that want access to the world around them using such devices. It may not be perfect, but if they could just ask and get the temp changed, or the weather updates, or news, or shop, without waiting for an aide to help, wouldn't that make it worth it?

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