Amazon debuts 2nd gen Amazon Echo Dot

{ 6 comments }

amazon-echo-dot2

I reviewed the first gen Echo Dot only four months ago and now Amazon has just announced a 2nd generation version. Wow, that was fast! If you’re not familiar with the Amazon Echo Dot, it’s a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses a voice “assistant” named Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, provide information, read the news, set alarms, and more. This next version of the Echo Dot has ditched the rotating volume section for dedicated volume buttons on top to make the whole device noticeably smaller. It’s now available in both black and white versions and has a more powerful processor for improved wake word performance. The Echo Dot uses Bluetooth to pair with speakers or headphones to play music from Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Like the Echo devices that came before, the new Echo Dot can be used to control lights, fans, switches, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, and more with compatible connected devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, ecobee, and others. The new Echo Dot has a smaller footprint and a smaller price to go along with it. It’s available right now for pre-order for $49.99 and if you buy 5 Dots, you’ll get 1 free. Buy 10 Dots and you’ll get 2 free. Simply apply code DOT6PACK or DOT12PACK at checkout. The release date is set for October 20th. For more info and to order, go to Amazon.

Posted in: Audio, Video, TV, News
{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Andrew Baker September 15, 2016, 4:02 pm

    Just ordered 2

  • Pam T. September 15, 2016, 5:21 pm

    Yes! I’ve been waiting for these to come back. Off to make my order…

  • Andrew Baker October 22, 2016, 12:33 pm

    All I have to say is @#$*(@#$&*@#($&@ AWESOME. My Dots arrived by noon on the 20th. I had to go home during lunch to check on a 3D print (Halloween is coming which mean 3d printer is running 24/7). It took me all of 5 minutes each to setup. I placed one in center of house that can hear command from living room, and family room, and kitchen. The 2nd Unit is in the master bedroom and will respond from bedroom and hallway. Currently the only two locations Alexa can’t respond is my office and garage. (hmmm maybe another order is in the future)

    My house is already pretty “smart”. Lighting, HVAC, Garrage door, alarms, TV/Media/Entertainment center. Utilizing Insteon, Z-Wave, Harmony, Chamberlan, Nest, and Phillips Hue. I have a HomeSeer Raspberry Pi in closet that ties everything together. Allowing all these systems access to each other. In less than 2 days Alexa is now doing the following.

    Normal Music/Audiobooks/etc from Pandora, Spotitfy, Audible, Amazon Music and Kindle books.

    Fully integrated with two harmony remotes. Simply asking “Alexa please Trigger TV in Livingroom”, or “Alexa please trigger PS3 in bedroom” will start up all devices, tv, receivers, etc. We can adjust sound, and most used channels. Netflix, ChromeCast, etc.

    All lighting in house is now voice controlled, as well as setting temperature.

    Control the fish tank lighting, and pumps.

    Our Calendars are synced, and thanks to HomeSeer and IFTTT the house recognises who walks in based on which phone connects to WIFI. Alexa will then be triggered to read off and memos or TODO items for that person.

    Amazons very open and flexible API allowed me to do this all in less than 2 days (really only 6-7 hours). I think we will be talking to our house alot more. I have to give amazon props for opening up their API and providing hundreds of interfaces for competing products and dozens of ways to develop your own interfaces and devices.

    But……The downside? It also only took our 3 year old 2 days to figure out how to give Alexa commands and orders. Nothing like having a jealous 3 year old instruct Alexa to turn off the TV so we can go play legos with him. That and our lights for the time being are now in “disco” mode, as he goes around asking alexa to turn lights on and off.

    • Julie Strietelmeier October 22, 2016, 3:34 pm

      Wow, that all sounds really cool. I need to look into the Homeseer and maybe do something like that for my house.

      What calendar and todo app/service do you use?

      • Andrew Baker October 22, 2016, 4:12 pm

        Google, plugs right into it.

Leave a Comment