Stephen wants to get a voice operated home device to make phone calls for his mother in law. Leo says that the Amazon Echo only works with other Echo devices. Google Home Assistant, however, can be linked to his phone and can make phone calls by voice. The chatroom says that Echo Connect will work to make phone calls, especially emergency ones. Leo says that these in-home voice assistants are a game changer, especially for older folks. They're also cheap enough now that he can put them in every room.
Mike is interested in the Anker Roav Viva. Leo says it's a great option for putting Amazon Echo into the car. Does it connect to his phone? Leo says yes. It will pair to Mike's phone through the Roav software and then play the music through his car stereo. It's quite clever. He'll want to check to see if it supports his car. Another option is called the Muse Auto.
Tom wants to know if he can connect his Amazon Echo Dot to his car. Leo says you can, but you'd need to turn your phone into a hotspot for it to work. And it will reboot every time you start the car. Leo says that the Roav Viva may be a better option. Then you run the Echo app through it. $50. So it's the same price as the Echo.
Mike is trying to connect his Echo to his Yamaha home stereo system, as well as his computer speakers. But when he starts playing it, it disconnects and plays on the Echo speaker. Leo says he'll have to set it up with the Echo app. The trick is to use the right command. He should be specific. For instance, he could tell it "Echo, play music in the living room."
Leo isn't sure how this will work, but TiVo is now supporting If This Then That, as well as Amazon Echo and others. TiVo also announced it would have a 'Super Bowl Skip' feature that would skip over the actual football game and show the commercials.
Charmaine wants to know if she can plug Amazon Echo into a surge protector. Leo says of course! Charmaine also worries that it's always listening. Leo says it is, but it doesn't actively listen unless she says one of four words: Amazon, Echo, Alexa, or Computer. It's only listening for those words. Once it hears the wake word, then it turns on the microphone and sends her request.
Mark wants to know if Amazon Echo is going to be used in cars. Leo says it will. In fact, Leo just installed one in his. And we'll soon see Google's Assistant there, too. It's the next big thing in computing. Mark is also concerned that Echo could be used to spy on him. Leo says that's possible. But Leo doesn't think Amazon wants to manage all that information and the risk to its business if it was discovered that Amazon was snooping on customers would be devastating. But then again, law enforcement could always subpoena to have access to it.
Chuck got an Amazon Echo for Christmas and he's learned that he can control his stereo with it. Leo says that for $99, the Logitech Harmony Hub will not only control his stereo, but also his TV, cable box, and AV receiver, everything. It's designed to work with your smartphone, but it also works with the Echo too.
Rachel says that if you're blind and need help with your Echo, Amazon has an accessibility line that can help out. Call 888-283-1678
Brian's Amazon Echo has been misbehaving since the New Year. It keeps failing and restarting. Leo says that indicates a faulty device. It may be overheating or is worn out. Amazon really doesn't have a good suggestion either, so Leo recommends contacting them about an RMA return. There is a reset button, though, so he could try that first. It's a little hole at the base of the device. He'll need to use a paperclip to press it in, and he'll have to hold that button down for a few seconds to reset it.