Amazon Echo is a brand of smart speakers developed by Amazon.
A smart speaker is a type of wireless speaker and voice command device with an integrated virtual assistant that offers interactive actions and hands-free activation with the help of one "hot word".
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Echo devices connect to the voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant service Alexa, which responds to the names "Alexa", "Echo", or "Computer".
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Users may change this wake word to "Amazon", "Echo" or "Computer".
The features of the device include: voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, and playing audiobooks, in addition to providing weather, traffic and other real-time information.
A podcast is an episodic series of digital audio files which a user can subscribe to so that new episodes are automatically downloaded via web syndication to the user's own local computer, mobile application, or portable media player.
Time management is the process of planning and exercising conscious control of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity.
An audiobook is a recording of a text being read.
It can also control several smart devices, acting as a home automation hub.
A smart device is an electronic device, generally connected to other devices or networks via different wireless protocols such as Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi, LiFi, 3G, etc., that can operate to some extent interactively and autonomously.
Home automation or domotics is building automation for a home, called a smart home or smart house.
According to confirmed reports, Amazon started developing Echo devices inside its Lab126 offices in Silicon Valley and in Cambridge, Massachusetts as early as 2010.
Silicon Valley is a nickname for the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area, in the northern part of the U.S. state of California.
Cambridge is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, in the Boston metropolitan area.
The device represented one of Amazon's first attempts to expand its device portfolio beyond the Kindle e-reader.
An e-reader, also called an e-book reader or e-book device, is a mobile electronic device that is designed primarily for the purpose of reading digital e-books and periodicals.
The Echo featured prominently in Amazon's first-ever Super Bowl broadcast television advertisement in 2016.
The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League, the highest level of professional American football in the world.
Amazon initially limited the first-generation Echo to Amazon Prime members or by invitation, but it became widely available in the United States on June 23, 2015.
The United States of America, commonly referred to as the United States or America, is a federal republic composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions.
Amazon Prime is a paid subscription service offered by Amazon that gives users access to free two-day delivery, streaming music and video, and other benefits for a monthly or yearly fee.
The press speculated that it would make its Canadian debut in mid-to-late 2016, after Amazon posted job listings for developers for Alexa and co-hosted a hackathon in Toronto.
A hackathon is a design sprint-like event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, and others, often including subject-matter-experts, collaborate intensively on software projects.
Toronto is the most populous city in Canada and the provincial capital of Ontario.
The Echo became available in the United Kingdom on 28 September 2016.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe.
Additionally, the Alexa voice service is available to be added to other devices, and Amazon encourages other companies' devices and services to connect to it.