Alexa is Amazon’s all-knowing, interactive voice assistant. It is Available on Amazon’s lineup of Echo speakers, smart thermostats, soundbars, lamps and lights, and right on your phone through the Alexa app. Alexa can do quick math for you, launch your favorite playlists, check news and weather, and control many of your home’s smart products. This article will explain further that What is Amazon Alexa and How does it work?
What is Alexa?
Alexa is Amazon’s voice assistant and is named after Alexandria’s world-famous library. Alexa can answer questions and perform commands that you give with your voice. For example, you can ask Alexa to play music or dim the lamps.
You activate Alexa by calling out the activation word, followed by the command. As an activation word, you can choose from four options: Alexa, Echo, Amazon or Computer. You have to choose one of these four words. Then you say what you want to have done. For this you use natural language, although it helps if you are as clear as possible.
How Alexa works?
Amazon and other tech companies have been working on natural language processing systems for a number of years. Amazon’s system is called Alexa, and it’s pretty good at recognizing what you want. If you have an Amazon Echo speaker , it listens continuously and immediately starts working when you say the activation word (for example “Alexa”).
The Echo speakers contain multiple directional microphones, so that your voice command is recognized even when you are standing in a remote corner of the room. You can connect the Echo speakers to another speaker via the 3.5mm audio jack.
The speaker only sends your order to the Amazon servers when you ask for something. Every question you ask also appears in the app. You can also delete the question afterwards.
If you name the activation word, Alexa records everything you say afterwards and sends it to Amazon’s servers for analysis. If it concerns a question such as “Alexa, what is the weather in Utrecht today?”, The speaker will read the answer.
You can also ask, “Alexa, what is my flash briefing?” to hear the latest NOS radio news. You can set this via the app.
If you ask Alexa to play music, you can do so via Amazon Prime Music ( Prime membership required ), Spotify, TuneIn and the like. An example is: “Alexa, play Radiohead on Spotify”. You do need a Spotify Premium account for this.
You can also ask “Alexa, turn on the lights”, but you must first have correctly set up your smart home system in combination with Alexa.
In the US, you can also ask Alexa to buy stuff on Amazon. And there are even more possibilities, which Amazon calls ‘skills’. These are third-party applications that Alexa can run. Amazon is open to all kinds of partners who want to work with it. Shopping with Alexa is only possible if you are a member of Amazon Prime and it only works with products that are Prime compatible.
Amazon Alexa Commands
You can address Alexa with hundreds of different commands, depending on the linked Skills. Each new Skill has its own commands, which are also explained under the relevant Skill. Below you will find an overview of the most important and fun commands for Alexa. Please note; for some products (Hue and Nest) you probably used a Dutch name for a product, scene or room. It is possible that Alexa does not recognize that pronunciation, so you have to change the name to an English variant (living room for example).
Timer and alarm
Alexa, set alarm for 7.45am
Alexa, wake me up everyday at 7.45am
Alexa, time four minutes
Alexa, how long is left on the timer
Agenda and reminders
Alexa, what’s on my schedule?
Alexa, what am I doing tomorrow?
Alexa, add an event on my calendar
Alexa, add hair cut to my to do list
Smart home products
Alexa, ask Neato to start cleaning (Neato)
Alexa, ask Neato to stop cleaning (Neato)
Alexa, set the living room to 21 degrees (Nest)
Alexa, turn on Living Room lights (Hue)
Alexa, turn on Relax in the Kitchen (Hue)
Alexa, dim the lights to 50% (Hue)
Alexa, play jazz in the kitchten (Sonos)
Alexa, play music from Muse on Spotify (Sonos)
Alexa, set volume to 6 (Sonos)
Weather, news and traffic
Alexa, what’s the weather in Utrecht?
Alexa, what’s the weather for the next 7 days?
Alexa, what’s the traffic like to Amsterdam?
Alexa, what’s in the news?
Alexa, tell me about the movie [title].
Alexa, who sings the song [title]?
Alexa, how do you make cheesecake?
Alexa, how many inch is one meter?
Alexa, when did World War Two start?
Alexa, who plays the lead role in [title]?
Alexa, tell me a joke.
Alexa, when am I going to die?
Alexa, this is a dead parrot.
Alexa, give me an Easter egg.
Alexa, beam me up.