Echo device by Amazon was designed to make your everyday life simpler and more convenient. You must have already used it to order food, get weather updates or stream music on Spotify. Now you can also call a taxi with the device.
Uber, a multinational mobile ride hail company, has announced recently that its application program interface, or API, has been integrated with Amazon’s smart home hub. To put it short, now you have two options: either to order a taxi through the Uber mobile app, or you can just ask Alexa, Echo’s voice assistant.
To onlookers the process of hailing a taxi looks as if from super-computerized future. You just say the words “call me an Uber”, walk outdoors and see the car standing near your house. Uber described the device in the blog: “The simplicity of ordering an Uber can be a magical experience and one that we continue to iterate on. Today we are excited to take it one step further by allowing you to request an Uber ride with just your voice.
“This is all made possible thanks to our Uber API and our integration with Alexa, the brain behind Amazon Echo. Now you don’t have to rely on your phone when you’re ready to go. You can simply ask Alexa to order an Uber for you, and she’ll request a ride right to your door,” it added.
Alexa will understand different interpretations of the command: “Alexa, ask Uber to get me a ride”, “Alexa, order me an Uber” and even “Get me a taxi” or “Call me a ride” since the device associates taxis and rides with Uber as a result of the new integration. You can also know the exact time of your taxi arrival by saying “Alexa, how far away is my Uber?”
“Maybe you’re running late and your phone’s charging in another room or you’re not the most savvy smartphone user — having the ability to ask Alexa to get you an Uber just by using your voice takes the magic of getting a ride to an entirely new level,” said Matt Wyndowe, Uber’s head of product partnerships. “We used to say push a button get a ride, now with the help of Alexa you don’t have to lift a finger.”
To start working with Echo, you need to tie your Echo account into your profile with the specific service itself. For Uber service you must set your Echo’s location in the Settings section, turn on the Uber skill in the Skills section and enjoy contactless hailing a taxi.
As the world is becoming more automated, more and more people start appreciating interconnected homes. And here is where Internet of Things shines. We have prepared a list of interesting IoT gadgets that can facilitate your life allowing you to devote time to more pleasant and engrossing activities. The list is available here.