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:
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
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):
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.
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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.