Alexa's a pretty cool invention, right? Amazon's virtual assistant tells jokes, dims your living room lights, and responds to famous Star Wars quotes. I mean, what more can you ask for? In addition to rattling off compelling news stories, she also entertains the masses wherever she goes. My sister, for example, stores the portable Echo device in her kitchen because she likes playing music while she cooks. But whenever I'm over her house, I always end up having a wild dance party with her two young children in the kitchen. I think I've discovered Alexa's real purpose.
At the end of the day, the digital assistant improves people's lives. Whether she's controlling smart home devices or answering a scientific question, Alexa plays a crucial role in day-to-day routines and activities. And she's about to get even better thanks to General Electric.
The tech giant's releasing an unusual looking LED lamp that's attached to a device that looks like the Echo Dot. The table lamp's circular design is unique and somewhat futuristic. It actually reminds me of the glowing identity disc from the Tron franchise.
The lamp works like an Echo device. The always-on microphone will listen for commands and questions. All you have to do is say the magic word. It seems neat, but the sound quality is less than stellar. The speakers are on par with the Echo Dot speakers. If it's quality speakers you're after, you'd have better luck buying the original Echo.
What you're seeing is a prototype. The final product might be a different story altogether, but I'm no prophet. Right now there's no release date, but GE expects the lamp to ship sometime in late 2017. Is it cool? Definitely. Is it practical? Maybe. I like the design, but it might be too big to store on a table. I can see myself knocking the decorative lamp over by mistake.
Credit: Mike Roorda and Jeremy Stamas