Smart home assistants have permeated the daily lives of people around the world, but there’s one problem; they’re stuck at home! If you want to use your home assistant while on the go, you can use the official assistant app to hear their wisdom wherever you are. However, what if you didn’t even need to grab your phone?
This is what the Amazon Echo Loop hopes to achieve. This is the next step in the “Echo” line, starting with the regular Echo and moving on to the Echo Dot. The Echo Loop is a ring that takes Alexa outside the house and allows you to talk to her by just speaking into it.
How Does the Echo Loop Work?
The Echo Loop slips onto a finger, just like a normal ring. The difference between this one and a wedding ring, however, is that the Echo Loop can communicate with you and perform basic functions.
You activate the ring by pressing a button on the ring, then speak into it to talk to Alexa, much like how you would with the home hubs. Alexa will then search your query and give you an answer via the ring’s small speaker. As such, the ring is almost like an Echo Dot that’s wrapped around your finger.
In Amazon’s video demonstrating the product, they show some useful tricks you can do with the chatty ring. For instance, you can pull up your Alexa grocery list or work out your side of the restaurant bill. Just press the button and speak, and Alexa does the rest.
How Does the Echo Loop “Phone Home?”
For those who know how smart hubs work, you’ll know that the speaker itself is actually not too intelligent. It only seems smart because the device beams your query back to the cloud and retrieves a response. As such, how does the Echo Loop contact the cloud?
Unfortunately, Amazon states that the Echo Loop does need a smartphone to contact Alexa. As such, while the Loop is stated as a quicker means of contacting Alexa than a phone, you still need one in order for the Loop to work in the first place.
How Do You Get One?
At the time of writing, there’s no way to actually buy an Echo Loop. The official store page currently states that the ring is “available exclusively by invitation.” As such, it may take a little while before people can put an Alexa on their finger.
Fortunately, while we can’t buy one just yet, the webpage does still list the price. People who get invited can get their own Echo Loop for $130, and those unfortunate not to be will have to fork out $180. This is quite a high price for the convenience of not needing to reach into your pocket for your smartphone!
Staying in the Loop
With home hubs finding their places in families everywhere, Amazon wants to bring Alexa out of the home. The Echo Loop is Amazon’s answer to this problem, but perhaps the price is a little too much for simple convenience.
Do you think the Echo Loop is useful? Or is it trying to fix an issue that wasn’t a problem in the first place? Let us know below.