Recently I hit a bit of a milestone birthday, and one of the great gifts I received was the new Amazon Echo. I have heard good things about these and what they can do so I was quite happy to get one.
It is very simple and easy to setup and within a couple of minutes she was up and running and ready to work. This is where I will offer my first bit of advice, if you have kids, leave it there and let them get it out of their system, because they will go crazy for it. As soon as it was set up they are all screaming at it "Alexa, tell me a joke", "Alexa, play capital radio" and so on, they were all fighting over it. I am sure if she could scream shut up and one at a time she would.
Once the kids had gone to bed, the first "skill" I have installed is National Rail. The first time it will ask for your source and destination station. So now I can ask Alexa to get National Rail to check my commute. It then responds with the next times and gives you the option for later trains if you want them, and is there are any delays in the area.
I have already linked this to my Uber account as well although I have not tried that out yet, I know someone that has and it has worked great for them.
There was a thought from some it's just a fad, but already it has proved very useful, instead of looking things up you can just ask, for example what's the weather like today, quick internet search questions etc.
My daughter has found it very useful for checking spellings and different meaning for words while she is sitting at my desk doing her homework.
I reckon the device will only get better as more items are developed for it, I am tempted to get some Hue lights for my office just so I can control them from Alexa.
I am always interested in your thoughts so if you have any comments or feedback then please feel free to add any comments, or you can mail me here.