Tuesday is the last day for Prime members to save $100 on the Amazon Echo

Tuesday is the last day for Prime members to save $100 on the Amazon Echo

I think that, once it is released to be purchased by the general public, the Amazon Echo is going to be one of the tech stories of the year (although there may be a few really big stories, with the Apple Watch and Oculus Rift going consumer, among others).

Up to now, the situation has been that Prime members can request an invitation. When they respond to your invitation (and that can be a very long time), you are given an opportunity to buy it at $99 ($100 off the price of $199).

Then, it can still be months before you get it.

I was able to order on on January 12th.

It’s supposed to arrive by April 9th (originally, I had a delivery date months after that, but it changed after I confirmed the shipping speed, a trick I’ve shared before. Seems to have worked for a lot of people), and it hasn’t shipped yet. That’s okay, though: with two day shipping, it should still make it.

Believe me, I check to see if it has started shipping more than once a day.😉

Well, on the product page, a new message has appeared:

Last chance for Prime members to save $100
Request invite by April 7″

So, according to that, you have until Tuesday to request the invitation if you want to save the $100.

That is, by the way, just about the price of a one-year membership in Prime…might be a good specific impetus to try the service, if you haven’t. There are a lot of Prime membership benefits, and they keep giving us new ones, including a new Prime invitation only item, the

Dash Buttons (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

That’s an intriguing new IoT (Internet of Things) device. Basically, it’s a one-button thing you have in your house to order a specific item through Amazon when you are running low. For example, they have one for Tide. Keep it on your washer, and when you notice you are low and want more, you just push the button…and you’ll have it in two days (usually) through Prime. These buttons are currently branded, which I’m sure helps Amazon give them away to us Prime members.

What does the new announcement on the Echo page mean?

It could mean that the price is going to go up for Prime members, and you’ll still be waiting months to get one.

It could also mean that they are getting ready to open up purchasing to the general public…which doesn’t necessarily mean the end of any Prime membership discount, and might mean everybody could get them sooner.

They’ve also been adding features to the Echo, and will continue to do so.

It’s a Bluetooth speaker, and that’s one thing.

It’s also what I call a “listener” (as opposed to a “speaker”). You can talk to it…easily, from across the room, and it will often understand you and answer requests. I follow the user community as it exists on Amazon.com pretty closely, and these are some of the things it reportedly does:

  • Tell you what time it is
  • Play Prime music for you
  • Tell you jokes
  • Respond in funny ways to a lot of questions (ask it to “open the pod bay doors”, or “how much is that doggie in the window?” for example)
  • Answer more serious questions
  • Set an alarm
  • Add things to a shopping or to do list on your phone (there is an app)
  • Give you sports scores and information (that’s new)
  • Give you traffic information
  • Play Pandora, iHeart radio, and more
  • Give you weather information
  • Give you a “daily briefing”
  • Wikipedia things for you
  • “Roll dice” for a game (including, I’ve heard, being able to roll “gaming dice”, like a D20) and give you the result
  • Use a remote to talk to it from a different room…you  can also use that for “Simon Says”, to get the Echo to repeat what you say, partially so you can prank your family😉

All of that is controlled by voice…you just talk to it. The shorthand on this is “Siri for your house”, but it’s a lot more than that from what I see…with more to come.

I’m excited to be able to share information about my experiences with an Echo soon!

Bonus deal: I don’t like to do a post without giving strictly book readers something, so here goes: Amazon appears to be regularly doing fifty Kindle store books for $2 each (it says the prices are good through the end of the month):

50 Kindle Book Deals for $2 Each (at AmazonSmile*)

Interestingly, 49 out of the 50 are available on Kindle Unlimited.🙂

There are some interesting titles here, although many of them, I think, we’re also listed in the monthly deals.

Enjoy!

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

 

12 Responses to “Tuesday is the last day for Prime members to save $100 on the Amazon Echo”

  1. Phink Says:

    I am so glad you mentioned the thing about the remote. I have had mine many weeks and had no idea. I saw the remote and thought ‘I can’t imagine needing that’ and put it away. Just now I looked and saw the mic button and got excited. I tested it and now am going to have fun with my Grand-kids when they show up. Alexa is going to be talking to them LOL.

    On another note about the dice. That works really well. You have to tell it “roll two dice” if playing Monopoly or something. My daughter said “we could play Yahtzee” so I said “Alexa, roll 5 dice.” She did and told us all 5 numbers. Of course, there was no way to remember them all, so we’d have to write them all down and it’d be a mess to really play Yahtzee but it might be fun to play a regular board game once using Alexa instead of real dice.

    I love my echo and use it a lot. I am still waiting on stock quotes however, which will probably be here someday. I just don’t know when. I play music a lot. If I’m in the mood for Bob Seger’s ‘Fire Lake’ I just tell it to play that song and it does. With music though like I said in another post: band’s with weird spellings such as Stryper are a problem. Just like with Bob Seger you must say “Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band”. Nothing is perfect however.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Phink!

      Great! Glad I could give you another fun thing to do, and I appreciate you letting me and my readers know how you have been using it. Have you tried something like “Alexa, roll a D20?” I’d be curious…you should get a result from 1 to 20.

      Oh, and the stock quote thing might require some kind of licensing, so they might still be working on that. If it doesn’t license, it has to look something up…and those stock quote symbols could be confusing, of course.

      • Phink Says:

        In reference to the D20 dice I just said “Alexa, roll a D20.” I forget exactly what it responded but it had no idea what I meant. I then said “Alexa, roll a D20 dice.” It responded with “I rolled a 20 sided dice and got 19.” Or did it say dye. Hhmmmmm? I am not good at English and not sure if it should be singular or plural. I’m sure Alexa used the proper word but it did work. I just had to use the word dice in my request. For certain reasons I cannot ask it again at the moment or I would.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Phink!

        Yay! Good to hear, and reasonable to have to say “dice”. The proper word is “die” for a singular, “dice” for plural…but that’s quite pedantic. Most people would say “dice” for the singular as well, and as my linguist adult kid has convinced me, that effectively makes it okay to do.

      • Phink Says:

        Update to the D-20 Dice. I am now having a very hard time getting it to know what I want. It worked that one time and since then it almost always misunderstands me. Keep in mind I do not have the most clear voice but the Echo hears me fine normally about 90% of the time. Not if I want to roll a D20 though. I thought “one could just ask for a random number between 1-20”. It hears that. When I said “Roll A” it always thought I said “Rolla” according to my Echo app. Plus other words were messed up. Today I thought I’d try “Throw a D 20 Dice” instead of “Roll A”. I have also asked for a 20 sided dice as well. Anyway, here is what the Echo thought I said when asking it to throw a D 20 dice or a 20 sided dice.

        “Throw a be twenty dice”, “Throw a deep twenty dice”, “Throw a date twenty died” (I asked for die that time, not dice). “Throw eight twenty sided dice “(yep, it told me all 8 numbers it got LOL), “How old I twenty sided dice”. Out of all those it understood what I wanted once so that’s 1 out of 6. Way, way, below the Echo’s average for me. Some of those I actually asked for a 20 sided dice rather than a D 20. I bet you Bufo speak a lot better than I do though although it’s supposed to learn from your speech pattern. However, I am from the south and ya’ll sure as heck fire know how we talk down here. LOL.

        You know part of the problem is the alphabet rhymes so when I say D it thinks I say B or any other letter. That’s why they came up with Bravo, Charley etc I guess. Ha. This is off topic but you may enjoy it. My last name is McPhink. A few times when talking to AT&T or whoever on the phone I say my last name is “M as in Monkey, C as in Cat, P as in Pterodactyl. That always get a pause.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Phink!

        Fascinating! I wonder a bit about the Echo’s learning reinforcement system (as a trainer, that’s a reasonable concern for me). How does it know it was right, and how does it know it was wrong? I’ve heard you can say, “Alexa, that was wrong,” to flag a conversation for human review…but does the Echo care about being right? I would think that could be built into it…give it a goal to get things right. However, to do that, it needs to know when it has been right and when it has been wrong. It can infer that from some actions (how often does someone repeat or edit or even review in the app a command), but I am curious.

        The spoken alphabet thing is also interesting, and as you note, there can be (and are) different versions. My normal way of doing it is to say, “B as in Boy, U, F as in Frank, O”. I tell them “Calvin” is like Calvin Klein, but a last name. I also tell them, and this is true, that the only way people tend to get it wrong is by using too many letters. When people say, “How do you spell it?” I say, “As simply as possible.”🙂 My favorite one was someone who wrote me a note and spelled it “Boufeaux”…the French version, I guess.😉

      • Phink Says:

        On the Echo app it does ask if what it heard is correct. I have hit no a few times but usually don’t want to take the 2 seconds to hit the button LOL. I need to hit the button more often I guess. Perhaps I also need to hit the “Alexa got it right” button more often as well.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Phink!

        Good to know!

        I’ll probably use it a lot. I’m supposed to have mine by Thursday at 8 PM…although it is Tuesday at 5 PM right now, and it says it hasn’t yet shipped with two day shipping. They could still make it, though…virtual fingers crossed.

  2. Phink Says:

    One more thing. It not only plays Prime music but all music in your Amazon library. If someone has bought MP3’s from Amazon (the only place I buy music) then the echo will play that as well. It’ll play randomly, certain genres, or any song you want. Just wanted to clarify that.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Phink!

      Yes, a good point. I believe it will also now play the Prime radio stations…I’ve used those, and that might be a nice feature as well.

  3. Susan Walker Says:

    Hi Bufo, I noticed you mentioned the Echo community at Amazon……I could not find it. .can you help me?

    Susan

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Susan!

      Sorry about that! Good point…I was using the term informally. There isn’t a forum for the Echo yet (there will be when the product page goes live.

      There are three threads I’m tracking (you can do that…you get e-mails when there are new posts). There are others, but I would say these may be three of the more active ones:

      This is the busiest one, with over 4,000 posts at time of writing:

      Amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile)

      Then there is this one, which I think only didn’t become as popular because of the capitalization of the thread title, interestingly enough…about 1,000 posts:

      amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile)

      This one has just over 100 posts, but it has some fun stuff:

      Amazon Echo ‘Easter Eggs’ (at AmazonSmile)

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