A world in which you can order wings, check the weather, and book a flight in a matter of minutes without lifting a finger is here thanks to Amazon’s Echo, the darling of the 2014 holiday season. More than 33,000 Amazon reviews and a five-star rating on the site, the Echo, which is a wireless voice command device that connects to the “Alexa” API to play music, share news, and update weather using only your voice, no doubt makes life a little easier in the modern day smart home.

Amazon Echo Dot Amazon Tap

Amazon has raised the bar for smart home integration with the addition of two new products in the Echo family: the Amazon Tap and the Amazon Dot. Here are the basics of each device, and why they are a perfect fit into the Internet of Things.

Amazon Tap

For music lovers on the go (or who love to spend time in their outdoor oasis), the Amazon Tap is a compact, portable speaker with some amazing interactive features. The Tap comes installed with the Alexa Voice Service, which comes alive when connected to Wi-Fi or a mobile hotspot. Owners of the Tap may access music services like Prime Music, Spotify, and Pandora with the tap (no pun intended) of the microphone button on the side of the speaker. Tap also streams your musical collection from your phone or tablet via Bluetooth.

Other features of the Amazon Tap include the following:

  • Dolby sound
  • 360 degree omni-directional audio
  • 9 hours of playback between charges
  • Regularly updated features

The Amazon Tap retails for $129.99.

Amazon Echo Dot

The smaller, cuter, younger sibling of the Echo and Tap, Amazon Echo Dot is a hockey-puck sized addition to the Echo, with a size and price that will allow Echo users to add Alexa Voice Service to every room of the house. The Amazon Echo Dot acts as more of a bridge between the Echo and Tap, or other Bluetooth-enabled speakers, and can be used to play music, share information, set alarms, and control other smart home devices with your voice. The device does include a small speaker, so it can be used as a smart alarm clock or virtual assistant in any space of your home.

Other features of the Amazon Echo Dot include the following:

  • Control of smart home programs like Philips Huge, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, and more
  • Connection to a variety of Bluetooth devices
  • Audio cable to connect to other types of speakers
  • Regularly updated features

The Amazon Echo Dot is currently available in limited quantities and exclusively for Prime members through the Alexa Voice feature on the Echo, and retails for $89.99.

With these types of devices becoming more affordable and accessible, soon all homes will be smart homes!

Questions? Call us at (704) 450-4401.

*Photo credit Amazon Tap & Amazon Echo Dot