Originally released in 2014 as the part of the Amazon Echo smart speakers deployment to the market, this service has over the following years grown to incredible size, reaching almost every smart platform such as TVs, smart boxes, phones, tablets, smart home devices, cars, and of course the home desktop and laptop PCs. This entire cloud-powered voice detection and reproduction system were inspired by the artificial computer voice and conversational system depicted in the science fiction TV and film franchise Star Trek.
The only hardware requirement that Amazon Alexa has is the presence of a microphone, speaker, and internet connection. The app is very light since almost all of its processing is happening on the large cloud infrastructure owned by Amazon. The app functions by constantly monitoring for users to say “Hey Alexa”, and then record, compress, secure and send that vocal query over the internet to be analyzed and transformed into a text, processed, and return and answer that Alexa can say or perform on its local speaker. Since the entire service is managed by Amazon, the exact client device in your home can be any device that is compatible with Alexa. This means users can start interacting with their PC version of the app and seamlessly move to their smart speakers, TV, or mobile phone, never losing contact with this smart voice assistant.
While many users have found that the easiest way to interact with Alexa is with the use of the Amazon Echo smart speaker, the version of Amazon Alexa on Windows PC is as good as any other. As of 2019, the app is able to perform over 90 thousand functions (also called “skills”), that cover the fields of home automation, music streaming, retrieving sports stats and live updates, managing messages and calls, traffic updates, weather reports, and much more. Its usefulness can even be expanded by users with the help of Alexa home Skill APIs and Blueprint service for creating new templates.