Amazon Discounts its Echo Smart Speaker Range Yet Again

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As part of its Black Friday Deals Week, Amazon lowered the price of its Echo family of smart speakers, before returning them to their regular prices. Now Amazon has discounted the devices again for a limited time in the U.S. as part of a "Holiday Deals" promotion.

Amazon Echo family
The full-size Echo speaker is $40 cheaper at $139.99, while the smaller Echo dot is available for $39.99 instead of its regular price of $49.99. Amazon Tap, the company's portable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled speaker, has also seen its price reduced from $129.99 to $89.99. The Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Amazon Tap all have voice-activated assistant Alexa built in.

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Top Rated Comments

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50 months ago
My girlfriend's name is Alexa so this is no use for me.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
50 months ago
They're pushing hard to get them in people's houses for the holidays.

I'm not sold on this sort of thing, regardless if it came from Amazon, Google or Apple. I just don't see the need or allure.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
50 months ago

I tried one out way back in the beginning... Completly underwhelmed.

It was better at voice recognition than Siri, but I didn't like that outbound traffic on my network (at background times) went up 7-16kbps at all hours of the day with the extra traffic coming from the Echo's IP... too creepy.

Agreed. Valid concern or not, the idea of essentially having a 'listening device' in your house that always on and connected to the internet, ehhh.
I guess I'm too oldschool. Seems
like with all the people oversharing on facebook and everywhere else, that not as many people worry about 'privacy' anymore.

That said, I know thats not how the echo is being used, but just the 'idea' kind of bugs me.
Somehow we made it throough daily life in our homes just fine before virtual assistants, and its not like they make your life 'amazingly better'.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
50 months ago

The Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Amazon Tap all have voice-activated assistant Alexa built in.

Unless I can say "Alexa, do my washing-up" or "Alexa, vacuum the floor" I just don't see the point of this.

If it's just to be able to say "Play this music track" or "what time is EastEnders on" I'll just stick to using the phone that's always in my pocket.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
50 months ago
Always-on microphones freak me out, especially ones tied to a merchant that has every incentive to monetize that data it collects. No matter who it comes from, it's creepy. One of the first things I do now on Apple products is disable "Hey Siri."

For example, here's some creepy always-on microphones inside kids toys:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/doll-records-children_us_5849c10ae4b0905b34427964
"The complaint alleges that the dolls My Friend Cayla and i-Que Intelligent Robot, which use speech-recognition software to have conversations with kids, are using this technology to record their personal information."
"The complaint claims that the dolls send the data to a separate company, Nuance Communications, which saves the recordings for future use. It also notes that Nuance, which also makes the dolls’ software, has contracts with military and law enforcement agencies."
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
50 months ago
I tried one out way back in the beginning... Completly underwhelmed.

It was better at voice recognition than Siri, but I didn't like that outbound traffic on my network (at background times) went up 7-16kbps at all hours of the day with the extra traffic coming from the Echo's IP... too creepy.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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