Not-so-Smart Speaker

Amazon released their new smart speakerlast week to little fanfare with limited marketing. The Amazon Echo is considered “smart” because it is interactive, and similar to Siri, it will play music, make lists, appointments and answer random questions. Amazon’s version of marketing this speaker was a full-length, cringe-worthy video of a family’s awkward interaction with the speaker, which they named “Alexa,” although it seems you can pick whichever name you please. The video was almost four minutes long and difficult to sit through. The one thing that the video did not address is how the iPhone in your purse or the Android in your pocket can also tell you the temperature, make you shopping lists and give you random trivia.

Another baffling thing that Amazon did was that they included “invite me” underneath the cost of the speaker. Is an invitation really needed? Why do we need to be invited to buy your product? That’s annoying. Is this speaker that exclusive? It’s a strange concept.

The Echo is being sold for $199 to non-Amazon Prime members; $99 to those who are Prime members. The speaker might do well if they drop the price tag down to $99 for everyone. I can’t imagine why anyone would spend $200 on a speaker when they could spend the same amount on a phone that does so much more. $99 is pretty in-range with other higher-end speakers that are being sold out there.

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