I was one of the lucky ones who managed to score a new Amazon Echo early...and I have to tell you I am impressed! First, this isn't what I thought Amazon could create - a super fast, seamlessly integrated personal assistant. This is Amazon not just copying Apple's simple and delightful user experience, but actually going beyond it.
You ask "Alexa" (or you can call her "Amazon") to play a song, or take a note, or turn off the lights, or check the weather, or traffic, or play an audio book...and it happens...in seconds. There is no delay at all - it almost seems like it is anticipating your request. Further, you can ask her to reorder something you already purchased at Amazon (we reordered dog food for Lucy) and it reads back your order waiting for a simple "Yes" from you to place it. From the time we thought about needing dog food to the time it was in our home was like 2 days...and we never approached a computer, or iPhone or Apple Watch. Did I mention the speaker/microphone array in this thing sounds great? When you get her attention a cool blue light "looks" in your direction then runs off with your request. Pretty cool stuff.
I've been demoing Amazon Echo (they should have just called it Alexa) to all my friends and family and while there are still a few rough edges everyone has come away impressed by what the device and the cloud can do when they are paired in this way. I tell people this is what I expected the future to be like and it has finally arrived. Amazon needs to steal a page from Apple marketing and start showing the world what this can do. I don't have that many friends ;)
Just learned today that anyone can now purchase Amazon Echo (there is no more waiting list), so here is a handy link if you are so inclined.