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The Amazon Echo Arrives at Tug!

by Jack Little | 01.12.2016
Recently at Tug we have been able to get our hands on the new Amazon Echo!

It was launched officially on the 6th of November 2014, but September the 28th of this year saw it finally become available in the UK. The Echo is a ‘Smart Speaker’. This means it combines the functions of a digital assistant (like Siri, except she answers only to Alexa) with a speaker so that it becomes more than just another system to play music off.

A selection of its current functions are: changing the temperature of a room via the thermostat, setting alarms, making shopping lists. It can also interact with numerous applications like Spotify and Uber.
The reason that we have got one here at Tug is that it helps us to organise meetings. It also keeps the office stocked and answers any general questions we have.

As you can see, it’s super useful for when we need to know trivia, listen to the Radio (which we do all the time) or hear a joke. It’s still surprising, even in 2016, that gadgets and machines can be this intelligent and at some points feel a little bit human. (Although no one in the office is in love with her yet.)

The launch of the Amazon Echo also has larger implications for the future of SEO. After the arrival of Siri, the number of queries that Google handles is exponentially increasingly asked through the medium of speech as opposed to typing. This is especially true with quick queries or actions like calling someone. Some websites are even claiming that by the year 2020, 50% of searches are going to be voice searches. This means that search marketing will need to evolve to accommodate a more conversational tone. We will need to focus on key phrases as opposed to just keywords.