Don’t look now, but did Amazon reboot the venerable iPod with the introduction of the Echo? We all know the iconic iPod isn’t the draw it once was and is in need of a remake. I’ve mentioned before how the iPod could be re-imagined to a multi-purpose home device. A WiFi basestation/extender, a multi-device charger, AirPlay speakers, maybe Time Machine backups – there are many roles a revamped iPod could play, and right now, Amazon’s Echo is headed in that direction with the additional benefit of being a Siri-like end point with Alexa. Instead of grabbing an iPhone or iPad to ask Siri a question, the Amazon Echo is always listening, ready to research directed questions. This surely makes sense and makes voice recognition commands more approachable.
Along with the Alexa voice command feature, the Echo contains 360-degree audio speakers to fill a room with music, a solid addition for a living room hub. For Amazon, a very relevant aspect is Echo’s potential to create grocery lists. I can easily see an Echo in or near a kitchen. As your pantry empties out, asking Alexa to add items to a grocery list is a great convenience then having the ability for Amazon to fulfill your order, now that’s scarily possible.
While the Echo is still a new product with mixed reviews, there are definite futures for this device, and maybe your next iPod will be spelled E-c-h-o.