The Amazon Echo touted as a bestselling voice activated wireless speaker and personal digital assistant. Most owners of this device use it for more than listening to music or asking interesting questions and requests. Other applications include being able to obtain transportation, order a pizza and the ability to control integrated smart devices inside their home.
According to the Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRPs), it estimates that 3 million units of the Amazon Echo were sold in the United States. The data does not account for the sales of the new additions to the line, the Tap and Echo Dot. Novelty aside, the Echo is growing in popularity on a daily basis. The reviews of the device are above average, while the benefits are even more surprising.
Amazon is one of the leaders in digital media, but it didn’t have any idea how well consumers would receive the Echo. It started out being a sleeper item until word of mouth made it a household name and not to mention, the recent appearance of commercials showing off its neat features.
The “skills” utilized by the device through the digital assistant are updated periodically and now open to outside developers to add their innovative and well-meaning list of skills for more technological enhancement. Because of the Echo is the first of its kind so to speak, they have competitors clamoring for their piece of the pie. Such as Google Home, which will have a better interactive interface and then, of course, the re-emergence of Apple TV.
The number of consumers that own the Echo is quite impressive. However, some have complained about the cost and the inconvenience of having to move it from room to room. To address these issues, Amazon introduced two additional Echo models.
The Tap, which is the portable version of the speaker, does not need to be plugged in unless the battery is being recharged. It functions the same as the Echo, but is not voice activated. The talk button has to be pressed for interaction with the device, thus the name Tap. The other new member is the Echo Dot. It is as small as a hockey-puck but has the same voice activation as the Echo. A Bluetooth speaker or stereo system can be connected to it.
I own an Echo, but for it to work efficiently, there must be a Wi-Fi connection and electricity. Without either, it will not function. Because of the need for electricity, some consumers have taken to purchasing one for each room in their house. It saves them time from having to move it from room to room and waiting for it to reboot once it is plugged into an electric outlet.
Some consumers debated whether to purchase the Tap since it’s portable. However, lucky for them they procrastinated, because a few third party vendors have introduced a new accessory for the Echo, a battery boot or base.
It is now possible to enjoy the device in more than one room without having to be tethered to an electric outlet. However, there is still a need for a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection. There are several battery boots to choose from according to the needs of the user. The more popular model has its own 18-volt proprietary power adapter that will charge up to 18 hours.
There are other battery boots that can hold a charge for up to six hours. For these models, the Echo’s power adapter cord can be used to recharge them. The Echo can be used while it is charging. The battery will remain in a standby state, so it does not drain while plugged in.
The bases fit snugly on the bottom of the Echo like a cup and does not present a bulky appearance. Both devices appear to meld together once fitted properly. The bottom of the boots is composed of non-slip materials that provide stability for the Echo.
A couple of the battery bases have LED lights on the front for low battery and charging status. Portability and convenience make these battery cases a welcome power alternative option for the Amazon Echo.