Amazon’s second-generation Amazon Echo Dot is now available for pre-order in the UK.
It’s a small, cylindrical device in the shape of a tuna can that helps to turn a user’s residence into a smart home. Like the Amazon Echo and other similar devices, it features Alexa, Amazon’s voice-controlled AI platform. Users can play music, control lights, order Uber rides, hear the news, and more, all via Alexa, just by asking.
It’s a system that was pioneered by Amazon and is now being emulated by others as the emerging Internet of Things starts to foster increasingly connected homes. Alexa is an AI system that can ‘learn’ over time, and Amazon has opened the software platform to allow third party access, leading to even greater functionality. Rivals like Apple are now following the same playbook, with that particular company reportedly seeking to put its own voice-controlled AI system, Siri, at the heart of Apple users’ smart homes in the future. It all speaks to the rising prominence of voice control as a key user interface for the Internet of Things, and to the increasing connectivity of the smart home.
The new Amazon Echo Dot will launch in the UK on October 20th, and while it doesn’t sport any radical technological enhancements over the original, it’s almost half the price.