This is part 1 of the smart libraries series looking at smart devices and interactivity in the library.
Intro – Alexa, what is Alexa?
Alexa is the (relatively) new voice-controlled AI assistant developed by Amazon. It (she?) is the voice service that powers the Echo and Echo Dot devices. You can also roll your own Alexa device using a Raspberry Pi.
The Echo and Echo Dot are Amazon’s 360 degree bluetooth speakers that use far-field voice recognition.
There are other voice-controlled assistants out there. Google Home is the Google equivalent to the Echo devices but it’s not yet available outside the US and Microsoft have just announced a Cortana-controlled Home Hub app. But Amazon’s Alexa seems to be leading the way in terms of integrations and access for third-party developers so far.