Amazon's Echo devices are here with Hinglish accent savvy for Alexa

Amazon's Echo  home devices are here -- and they have the gift  of the gab
Bangalore, December 4 2017: Three years ago, Amazon first unveiled  a voice-activated speaker called Echo, a 20-cm high cylinder that  came with a smart voice assistant , Alexa. You could speak your music choice to her -- and  control operations around the home. The caveat was other gadgets  needed to understand Alexa.    Apple's Siri,  Microsoft's Cortana, and the Google Voice Assistant  were other intelligent assistants you could speak to -- but only Amazon thought to move the technology from phone to home. Finally a trio of Echo   voice-controlled speakers have reached India  and Alexa meanwhile has  learnt Hinglish and Indian accents.  Her vocabulary  embraces desi priorities like cricket scores, Lata Mangeshkar, Bharatanatyam and Biryani.
Amazon  Echo ( Rs 9999)   listens all around and when Alexa  responds, her voice or your music is carried by 360 degree omni-directional speakers. It  connects via Bluetooth to your music players  -- but that's it.  If you want to  control other home  items,  you need the Echo Plus ( Rs 14,999) which has  smart hub.    The Echo Dot is a small Rs 4499 device that  extends the range to other rooms. 
One day perhaps,  Alexa can   control your fridge and washing  machine and air conditioner or baby alarm. For that to happen,  various makers must come on board. For starters, Philips  and Syska  lighting have -- and if you buy one   of their smart  bulbs, Alexa will control the brightness and the colour.  You can   also  set alarms, wake up calls or ask Alexa  how the weather is.   So right now,  Amazon Echo is a vision of the future and as far as apps go, a work in progress. Me? I've fallen for a  smart  lady who is  ready and willing  serve and  seems to say "Meri awaz suno! ANAND PARTHASARATHY