Tetraplegic and loving the Amazon Echo – it’s given me a new lease of life!

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Being tetraplegic doesn’t mean you can’t play with gadgets. This is especially true of the Amazon Echo, it has honestly made a massive difference to the quality of my life. I can now do the little things that mean so much. Such as play “Back in Black” by AC/DC whilst my good lady is serving up dinner. Those out there in Normal Land won’t really understand how liberating that is!

I’m pleased to say that you do not have to press any buttons to get it to listen to your bidding. Once it is turned on it is sat there listening, waiting for your command. I know this may make some of you nervous, but, come on get over it.

Here are some of the things it can do.

  • Amazon Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, provide information, read the news, set alarms and more
  • Connects to speakers or headphones through Bluetooth or 3.5 mm stereo cable to play music from Amazon Music, Spotify and TuneIn
  • Controls lights, switches, thermostats and more with compatible connected devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Hive, Netatmo, Nest, tado° and others
  • Hears you from across the room with 7 microphones for far-field hands-free voice control, even in noisy environments or while playing music
  • Includes a built-in speaker so it can work on its own as a smart alarm clock in the bedroom, an assistant in the kitchen, or anywhere you might want a voice-controlled device
  • Always getting smarter – Alexa updates through the cloud automatically and is continually learning, adding new features and skills

Some of you may wonder what’s the difference between the Echo Dot and the larger Echo. What I can ascertain the only difference is that the larger one has a better speaker. Apart from that it pretty much at the same specifications and capabilities. I must say though that the larger one does sound really good. Surprisingly good for the size of it. The sound on the smaller one is quite acceptable considering its size.

I purchased a neat little device that contains a rechargeable battery. It connects to the base of the Amazon Dot to make it portable. I can then stick it on the side of my wheelchair and use it around house. It’s pretty cool!

 

The only drawback we have noticed is it doesn’t seem to be consistent. For example: I like listening to Planet Rock, so I tell the Echo “Echo start TuneIn Radio Planet Rock”. Sometimes it plays Planet Rock, and Sometimes It Doesn’t.

However for 50 quid I’m not going to complain too much. My advice is to buy one from Amazon, I don’t think you will be too disappointed. If you are considering buying this as a gift for somebody who is disabled BUY IT! If it turns out not to be suitable for them you can always use it yourself.

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