If you read our pre-release Amazon Echo review (and by that we mean a review Internet Patrol-style), you know that you need to sign up for an Amazon Echo invitation in order to order one. Now it turns out that the invitation to purchase is for an Amazon Echo release date far in the future.
Nobody was more surprised than us to find an Amazon Echo invitation in our inbox that reads, in part, “new orders may take several months to ship.”
The full Amazon echo invitation reads:
Dear Amazon Customer,
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We’re excited to offer you an invitation to purchase Amazon Echo. We hope you’ll have as much fun using it as we did inventing it. By accepting this invitation, you will be one of the first customers to use Echo, and we appreciate your input to help shape Echo as it evolves.
To accept this invitation, go to the Amazon Echo page, add to cart, and purchase as usual. Due to strong customer response, new orders may take several months to ship. You will receive a delivery confirmation when your order is ready to ship.
The Amazon Echo Team
How long is my invitation valid?
Due to the high number of requests, invitations expire after seven days.
When will I get my Amazon Echo?
Once you’ve added Echo to your Shopping Cart and proceeded to checkout, you’ll see the estimated delivery date for your order. Due to high demand, new orders may take several months to ship. You will receive a delivery confirmation when your order is ready to ship.
Can I get a second Echo? Can I help a friend who has requested an invitation get one now?
Unfortunately, not at this time. Due to customer response, we’ve been able to fulfill only a small portion of the invitations requested, and Echo is limited to one per customer.
What music services can I listen to with Echo?
With Prime Music, Amazon Prime members can listen to over a million songs for free. You can also play music you’ve purchased or imported into your Amazon Music library. Plus, you can listen to thousands of radio stations and podcasts through iHeartRadio and TuneIn, and we will be adding more music services soon. You can also stream other music services to Echo from your phone or tablet via Bluetooth.
What can I use as the wake word?
The default wake word is “Alexa” (our homage to the library of Alexandria). You can also change the wake word to “Amazon” in the settings section of the Echo companion app. We’ll be adding more wake words in the future.
How does Echo recognize the wake word “Alexa?”
Echo uses on-device keyword spotting to detect the wake word, and the wake word only. When Echo detects the wake word, it lights up. Echo then uses the processing power of Amazon Web Services to recognize and respond to your request.
Will Echo understand me all the time?
No, the state-of-the-art technology for computer understanding of natural language doesn’t yet enable understanding all the time—but because Echo’s brains are in the cloud, it will keep getting smarter.
What can’t Echo do yet?
Echo can’t yet provide services like traffic information, sports scores, or answers to current affairs questions. Stay tuned—we’re working on these and many more, and will let you know as we add more capabilities.
How do I give feedback?
You can always provide feedback through the Amazon Echo app, and from time to time we may email you for feedback about specific Echo features.
Do I have to charge Echo?
No. Echo is always on, uses wall power, and doesn’t need to be charged.
I’m a software developer, can I develop services for Echo?
We’d love to hear your ideas for what you might build for Echo. Contact us here.
What’s the first thing I should ask Echo?
You could ask Echo for weather information or a flash briefing. Ask Echo for the meaning of life, or to “open the pod bay doors.” Or just ask Echo to play some music. Echo might not always have the answer, but we hope you’ll have fun helping Echo get smarter.
Of course, we went ahead with the ordering process, because we know you want us to do a hands-on review of Amazon Echo, and we’re just that dedicated to our readers.
We’ll let you know when it arrives, an event for which we are sure we will be notified by a blank FedEx doortag.
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