teclyn bach yn dod â rheolaeth llais i bron unrhyw ddyfais smart yn y cartref, wrth chwarae cerddoriaeth, ateb cwestiynau a dweud wrthych y tywydd
Mae'r Amazon Echo Dot yn ei hanfod holl ddarnau o amazon Echo sy'n ei gwneud yn ddiddorol, ond heb y siaradwr oddi tano - ac felly mae'n costio dim ond un rhan o dair o'r pris.
Mae'r Dot yn un o dri chynnyrch Alexa-alluogi o Amazon sy'n rhoi blaen cynorthwyydd llais y cwmni a chanolfan. Dim ond dau, yr Echo Dot a'r Echo ar gael yn y DU: y trydydd, y siaradwr Bluetooth cludadwy o'r enw Amazon Tap, ond ar gael yn yr Unol Daleithiau.
Mae'r Dot yn puck du neu wyn bach gyda modrwy o oleuadau ar y brig, pedwar botymau ac amrywiaeth saith-meicroffon - yr un system sy'n gwneud y siaradwr Echo mor dda ar chi glywed oddi 'n bert lawer unrhyw le.
Mae'n gwrando allan am "air deffro", sydd yn ddiofyn yw enw'r y cynorthwy-ydd llais a gynhwysir yn y Dot: "Alexa". Dywedwch y gair sgil a'r cynorthwyydd llais yn dod yn fyw i ateb cwestiynau, cymryd gorchmynion a pherfformio gweithredoedd.
Mae gan y Dot siaradwr adeiledig yn fach, sydd yn ddigon da ar gyfer yr holl ymatebion llais Alexa poeri allan, larymau a rhybuddion eraill, ond nid wedi ei gynllunio mewn gwirionedd i chwarae cerddoriaeth, cynhyrchu sain tinny.
Yn hytrach gefn y Dot Mae porthladd sain-allan, which is intended plug into your existing speakers. Fel arall, it can pair to a wireless speaker via Bluetooth.
What does it look like?
The Dot is surprisingly discreet sitting on a countertop or stuck to the wall. There’s a rotating light ring around the top that indicates when it’s actively listening to you and turns red when you hit the mute button, electrically disconnecting the mics, so you know when it is and isn’t listening in.
The white Dot has a grey top, which means it stands out more than it might on a white bed-side table, er enghraifft. You can get little jackets for the base in leather or fabric if shiny plastic doesn’t quite cut it with your decor.
Beth mae'n ei wneud?
The Echo Dot can do whatever Alexa can do. The set up is the same as the Echo: plug it in, open the Alexa app on your smartphone and follow the instructions to connect it to your Wi-Fi network.
Once up and running, Alexa can perform a variety of your typical assistant features. It’ll set timers, tell you the time, set alarms, tell you what your day looks like from your connected calendar, tell you about your commute or the weather and answer questions about all sorts of things.
Alexa has access to quite a lot of information, but the sheer volume of data Google has at its fingertips, which means Alexa will struggle with certain questions when a Google voice search may not.
The big difference is that Alexa replies in a surprisingly human way, and can almost always understand what you’ve said even if it can’t answer the question, which means it should get better over time as more data is shovelled into the backend artificial intelligence.
Alexa has so-called skills that can be added to her. These app-like things give her new abilities. Lots of companies and services have skills. The Guardian skill will read you the news, headlines or reviews, er enghraifft. The National Rail skill will tell you what your rail commute looks like. The Allrecipies skill will be able to read you one of 60,000 different recipes.
But perhaps the best set of skills available for the Echo Dot are smart home controls. Here is where the Dot shines: it has a wide range of support for smart connected devices, from speakers and remote controls, to lights, coffee machines or anything connected to a Samsung SmartThings hub.
Alexa, turn on the lights in the living room
Out of the box it works with Philips Hue, while skills exist for Nest, Hive, Honeywell, Tado, LightwaveRF and LIFX, with Sonos expected soon.
Once hooked up you can command just about anything. You have to remember the name of the thing you’re trying to command, but within the Alexa app you can group things to turn them on and off with one command.
Unlike most other smart home systems, a single item can be placed into multiple groups meaning a bedroom light could be in the “bedroom” group as well as in the “upstairs” group and perhaps a “house” group, so that you can turn just the bedroom lights on, the whole of the upstairs or turn off the whole house when you’re walking out the door.
You can also set brightness, lliw, scene or anything else your lights support, but lighting is just the start. Almost any smart home appliance can be controlled via voice with the right connection.
You can set the temperature via a Nest, set the coffee going via a smartplug, switch the TV on or off, set the channel or do pretty much anything with devices connected to a SmartThings hub.
The Echo Dot doesn’t have to be used in isolation either. If you’re in earshot of two Dots or another Echo device, only the nearest one will reply to your commands. Amazon even sells them in packs: buy five get a sixth free, or buy 10 and get two free. Clearly it wants you to put them all over your house.
- It works surprisingly well when mounted to the wall, but you have to pull off the rubber pad or make you own bracket
- Alexa ads on the TV set them off
- Occasionally the radio will set them off
- When you’ve got it hooked up to speakers the Dot will only output its audio through those speakers, so they need to be left on all the time to enable it to speak to you even if you’re not playing music
- IFTTT and Logitech Harmony support are coming soon, which will greatly extend Alexa’s smart home support
- You have to think carefully about what you’re going to call each of the connected devices because you will have to say their names to Alexa for them to be activated on an individual basis
The Amazon Echo Dot costs £50 in either black or white. Y larger Echo costs £150.
The Echo Dot is everything that’s great about the larger Echo speaker condensed into a small puck that costs one-third of the price.
Being able to voice control things without having to pull out a phone or push a button marks a massive step forward for the Internet of Things. Activating, changing, switching things off and firing up automation routines via voice feels natural and satisfying: there’s nothing quite like marching into a room and commanding the lights to turn on.
Alexa isn’t quite the all-conquering voice assistant it promises to be just yet, but the Dot gets the job done in a way nothing else can.
Manteision: excellent mic array means it can almost always hear you, small but loud enough to be heard clearly, great device support, clear mute, turns your old Hi-Fi into a smart, voice-controlled speaker, voice control IoT devices
Anfanteision: really needs to be connected to a speaker for music, can’t always answer the question, always-listening object in your house, doesn’t support multiple user calendars or personal information, only one Spotify or Amazon music account can be linked at any one time
- Adolygiad amazon Echo: y siaradwr a llais cynorthwyol cyfunol gorau yn y DU
- Adolygiad Samsung SmartThings Hub: Rhyngrwyd o Pethau i'w reoli drostynt i gyd?
- Withings Body Cardio review: stylish scales for health obsessives
- Nest Learning Thermostat third-gen: the simple, effective heating gadget
- Adolygiad Elite Logitech Harmony: hawdd ei ddefnyddio o bell sy'n cymryd gyfrifol am eich cartref
guardian.co.uk © Guardian Newyddion & Media Limited 2010