Alexa at A Glance

Alexa is an intelligent personal assistant developed by Amazon, made popular by the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Echo Dot devices.

In November 2014, Amazon announced Alexa alongside the Echo. Alexa was inspired by the computer voice and conversational system on board the Starship Enterprise in science ction TV series and movies, beginning with Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Alexa is capable of voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing weather, traffic, and other real time information, such as news. Alexa can also control smart devices.

Most devices with Alexa allow users to activate the device using a wake-word (such as Echo); other devices (such as the Amazon app on iOS or Android) require the user to push a button to activate Alexa’s listening mode. Currently, Alexa can only interact and communicate in English and German.