Author Topic: New Amazon Echo  (Read 118514 times)  

Offline Sandpiper

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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1150 on: May 14, 2016, 05:30:55 AM »
Got my replacement Echo yesterday.

Through all the Kindles I've had, never had a problem with any of them where others seem to replace new model Kindles a number of times.  Am I having problems with Echos?  These two much newer Echos that I now have seem to be much less voice sensitive compared to my first Echo from last year.  Does anyone else feel their Echos are hard of hearing?  It's not a matter of Echo doing right or wrong thing, but of hearing me at all if I don't talk louder than I think should be necessary.

ETA:  I called Echo support.  CS / tech person said they are getting a lot of comment re voice sensitivity.  Some think it's too sensitive, some not sensitive enough (me).  It's subjective.  They're working on it.  Will probably be updates re voice sensitivity in the future.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2016, 06:07:14 AM by Sandpiper »
 
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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1151 on: May 14, 2016, 05:33:12 AM »
Got my replacement Echo yesterday.

Through all the Kindles I've had, never had a problem with any of them where others seem to replace new model Kindles a number of times.  Am I having problems with Echos?  These two much newer Echos that I now have seem to be much less voice sensitive compared to my first Echo from last year.  Does anyone else feel their Echos are hard of hearing?  It's not a matter of Echo doing right or wrong thing, but of hearing me at all if I don't talk louder than I think should be necessary.

Our Echo has more trouble hearing my husband than it does me.  Of course, his hard-of-hearing sister has a harder time hearing him than she does me, too.  He tends to a higher pitch when he's talking to Alexa, for some reason....
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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1152 on: May 14, 2016, 06:19:32 AM »
Just went into the Alexa app to check my shopping list (hubby watching TV in the same room, couldn't ask her) and saw this:

Quote
Package tracking and Kayak Skill

I can now help you track your Amazon orders.  Just ask "Where's my stuff."  Also, if you're planning a vacation, try out the new Kayak skill to find out fares by location or price.

It says "Learn More" but there isn't any "more" yet....

I tried it--I have one order that's been shipped.  It said something close to I have one order for Betsy, shipped May 5, arriving June 17.  (It's coming from China.)

Betsy

PS--dang, it's a good thing this wasn't implemented before my Oasis was shipped, I would have broken her!  LOL! :P
« Last Edit: May 14, 2016, 06:23:23 AM by Betsy the Quilter »
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Offline readingril

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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1153 on: May 14, 2016, 06:25:48 AM »
Kayak was mentioned in the email I got yesterday...

Take a trip with KAYAK

Summer vacation is around the cornerget your planning done with the new KAYAK skill for Alexa. If you already have a destination in mind, ask KAYAK to check prices on flights, hotels, and rental cars. Have a budget but no plans? Ask KAYAK for a recommendation.

The KAYAK skill can also give you real-time flight status updatesask for them by airline and flight number, or just name the "to" and "from" cities and KAYAK will read out the matching flights.

To get started, enable the skill in your Alexa App, then just ask:
Alexa, ask KAYAK how much it costs to fly from Seattle to San Diego.
Alexa, ask KAYAK where I can go for 500 dollars.
Alexa, ask KAYAK when the flight from San Francisco lands in Las Vegas.

Offline Sandpiper

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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1154 on: May 14, 2016, 08:33:20 AM »
I'd say my normal voice is high pitched.  Not always pleasant.  (Had a BF in the past who had the most beautiful low pitched voice.  :)  Should have been on the radio or done voice overs.)  Gotta work on lowering it.  Be conscious of it when I'm speaking. 
 
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Offline sbell1

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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1155 on: May 14, 2016, 01:15:24 PM »
I have had my Echo almost a year and a half. In the past month or so I have had to speak much louder to get her awake. Others in a reddit forum have noticed the same thing. I wonder if something changed in a software update?  I sent feedback to Amazon.

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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1156 on: May 14, 2016, 02:10:12 PM »
I have had my Echo almost a year and a half. In the past month or so I have had to speak much louder to get her awake. Others in a reddit forum have noticed the same thing. I wonder if something changed in a software update?  I sent feedback to Amazon.

Happy to hear it isn't only me.  My first Echo which I've now returned due to different problem heard me easily down to my last day with it.  At night when I'd talk especially softly to her she would still hear me.  (I didn't want to wake the dog in the next room and have him possibly start whimpering -- I gotta go [in the middle of the night].)  I have to speak considerably louder to my current two new Echos.  If I'm telling Echo to stop alarm sound, I have to almost yell it seems.  Echo support says they are getting feedback about voice sensitivity and have issued and will issue updates about it.
 
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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1157 on: May 14, 2016, 02:11:44 PM »
I have had my Echo almost a year and a half. In the past month or so I have had to speak much louder to get her awake. Others in a reddit forum have noticed the same thing. I wonder if something changed in a software update?  I sent feedback to Amazon.

I thought it was just me.  Alexa wouldn't be the first one who didn't hear me.

Offline Sandpiper

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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1158 on: May 15, 2016, 06:29:38 AM »
Once I got Echo to play what I wanted, it was extremely hard to get her to STOP.  This was late last night / early this morning.  Had to pull the plug.  Call to Echo support this morning.

When requesting a particular album, I was making it a lot harder than necessary.  All that's necessary for request -- Echo, play album (name).  Doesn't matter whether it's in Prime Music or My Music Library.  If you want it to shuffle or loop, those are requested in additional separate commands. 
 
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Offline Mike D. aka jmiked

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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1159 on: May 15, 2016, 12:45:41 PM »
I've found that the response of Alexa is highly dependent on background noise. If I have the TV on or am playing music through the home entertainment amp, I tend to use the remote that came with the Echo. That always works. Otherwise I have to get closer and sometimes yell at Alexa.
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Offline DawnB

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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1160 on: May 15, 2016, 05:05:31 PM »
I've found it easier to use the app on my phone instead by voice if I want her to play specific albums/songs. I do use voice commands for playlists or radio stations.

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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1161 on: May 19, 2016, 06:56:50 AM »
New skill coming to the Echo:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-business/wp/2016/05/18/thanks-to-a-college-park-start-up-you-can-now-order-a-plumber-through-amazons-alexa/

Quote
Here's how it works: Customers alert the Amazon Echo to "Ask TalkLocal" what they need as if they're leaving someone a voicemail. Talklocal’s voice recognition software automatically scans the recording for keywords, and checks it against an internal database of 200,000 vendors, which pay TalkLocal for connecting them with potential customers. When it finds a match, the service automatically contacts a vendor that may be able to complete the request, and then routes a call from the vendor to the customer’s phone.

Full article at link above.

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Offline Sandpiper

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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1162 on: May 19, 2016, 06:39:06 PM »
I've found that the response of Alexa is highly dependent on background noise. If I have the TV on or am playing music through the home entertainment amp, I tend to use the remote that came with the Echo. That always works. Otherwise I have to get closer and sometimes yell at Alexa.

I rarely (never?) had a problem with my first Echo that Amazon received returned today hearing me.  She was in the living room.  Sound from TV didn't seem to matter.  New Echo is a different story.  Often have to turn down TV or move close to her for her to hear me. 

Generally am having better luck now with new and newer Echos.  Neither have stopped talking.  :)
 
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Offline docmama28

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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1163 on: May 20, 2016, 05:30:36 PM »
OK, A/C broke down last night.  Called repairman in and luckily (and knock wood) the motor, compressor, etc all were good.  What was broken was my thermostat.  I spoke to the technician in hushed tones (hubby thinks I'm crazy)- "do you reccomend the Nest?"  "No", he said, "it's an a/c tech's nightmare.  I have a Sensi at home, much easier to program".  I did a quick google search - sensi and echo - and wouldn't you know it, it's compatible with my echo!!  He just left, and I am on my way to my Smart Home with voice control courtesy of Alexa!!
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1164 on: May 20, 2016, 05:36:21 PM »
OK, A/C broke down last night.  Called repairman in and luckily (and knock wood) the motor, compressor, etc all were good.  What was broken was my thermostat.  I spoke to the technician in hushed tones (hubby thinks I'm crazy)- "do you reccomend the Nest?"  "No", he said, "it's an a/c tech's nightmare.  I have a Sensi at home, much easier to program".  I did a quick google search - sensi and echo - and wouldn't you know it, it's compatible with my echo!!  He just left, and I am on my way to my Smart Home with voice control courtesy of Alexa!!
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Huh.  I asked our a/c tech about the Nest when we got new AC and heat installed last year, and they said, no problem, they carried them.  And I watched while they installed my Nest, seemed like it took just a few minutes.  Maybe the Sensi is faster!  Love my Nest and I'm sure you'll love your Sensi--glad it's compatible with the Echo.

Betsy
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Offline Sandpiper

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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1165 on: May 20, 2016, 10:01:42 PM »
It was 11:58 P.M. when I asked Echo if it was midnight.  She answered, " . . . which means that it's definitely dark."  :D
 
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Offline Mike D. aka jmiked

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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1166 on: May 21, 2016, 09:57:15 AM »
"I have a Sensi at home, much easier to program".  I did a quick google search - sensi and echo - and wouldn't you know it, it's compatible with my echo!!  He just left, and I am on my way to my Smart Home with voice control courtesy of Alexa!!

Thanks for telling us about this thermostat. I'll probably get one next week, as it does not require a "C-wire" as most other WiFi units do (I hate crawling around in the attic at my age!).

Mike
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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1167 on: May 21, 2016, 10:13:41 AM »
Thanks for telling us about this thermostat. I'll probably get one next week, as it does not require a "C-wire" as most other WiFi units do (I hate crawling around in the attic at my age!).

Mike

The Nest also didn't require any special installation, as far as I can tell, just FYI.  Love the Nest, but Sensi looks great also.  The thermostat that the Nest replaced was, as far as we could tell, installed in 1974 when the house was built.  Perhaps there was already a C-wire there, but they certainly didn't pull any wires from the attic or the basement.

Betsy
« Last Edit: May 21, 2016, 10:16:14 AM by Betsy the Quilter »
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Offline Mike D. aka jmiked

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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1168 on: May 21, 2016, 09:49:03 PM »
Perhaps there was already a C-wire there, but they certainly didn't pull any wires from the attic or the basement.

I think this is likely. The Nest does requires the C-wire, as it draws more power than the Sensi. The Sensi was designed to be a very low-powered device so as to not need the extra wiring. I think it may be more reliable with the C-wire, I'm going to investigate whether I can splice wires and just pull a four wire cable from the A/C unit to the thermostat (they are directly across the hall from each other). If I can do that, then my choice widens to include an Insteon thermostat, which I can hook up to my Home Automation system. That would be considerably more secure than any of the other options seem to be.

Mike
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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1169 on: May 22, 2016, 02:48:52 AM »
I think this is likely. The Nest does requires the C-wire, as it draws more power than the Sensi. The Sensi was designed to be a very low-powered device so as to not need the extra wiring. I think it may be more reliable with the C-wire, I'm going to investigate whether I can splice wires and just pull a four wire cable from the A/C unit to the thermostat (they are directly across the hall from each other). If I can do that, then my choice widens to include an Insteon thermostat, which I can hook up to my Home Automation system. That would be considerably more secure than any of the other options seem to be.

Mike

Yeah, I know the Nest needs a C-wire; it was one of my concerns when I looked into it as I doubted our 40 year old home with its very basic builder-installed thermostat had one. 

One reason I ultimately chose the Nest over the Honeywell smart thermostat included in the contractor's bid was that the Nest works much the same way the old thermostat did--you just move the dial left or right to lower or raise the temp.  My husband has an aversion to things with buttons.  ;D. The Sensi would have lost out for the same reason.

So I was glad when they said it would be no problem.

I did find this info on C-wires

http://www.thermostatcenter.com/the-c-wire/

Betsy

« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 11:44:09 AM by Betsy the Quilter »
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Offline Mike D. aka jmiked

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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1170 on: May 22, 2016, 08:09:10 AM »
I just went and popped the thermostat off the wall to check and see what was behind there. I see an extra wire coming out of the hole in the wall not connected to anything. With any luck, I can use it for the C-wire, I'll have to check at the connection block in the A/C unit later today to make sure. It's been so long since I switched out thermostats (I'm on my 5th or 6th in 40 years) that I had no recollection of exactly what the wiring consisted of.


Mike
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Offline RyanBrandon

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Re: New Amazon Echo
« Reply #1171 on: May 17, 2017, 02:04:12 PM »
I am using Sensi Wi-Fi Smart Programmable Thermostat  also . Certainly it is one of the best thermostat on the market . Sensi Wi-Fi Smart Programmable Thermostat deserves it for its ease of use and energy saving functions. But, in addition to those features, it has one more that makes it easier to install than many.
One of the small drawbacks with Wi-Fi thermostats is the need for a C (or common) wire to supply power to the Wi-Fi. With other Wi-Fi thermostats, if your existing system does not have this then you either need to add one, find a work around to add a power extender kit.
The Nest Learning can theoretically draw power from other wires, but this can lead to erratic connectivity. With the Sensi, there is no need to have a C wire to operate with all its functions. This allows it to be fitted into more homes without any modifications to existing wiring systems. It is one of the top rated product on http://www.thermostatistics.com/

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