Alexa is a great smart assistant but there are obvious shortcomings and things Amazon can do generally to advance her as an intelligent (AI) system. The Echo platform that runs Alexa (Echo, Echo Dot and Tap) has not evolved significantly as device since the original Echo launch more than two years ago. There are lots of articles about “what CAN you do with Echo?” and not many about current limitations. Here are the top five capabilities Amazon Echo seems like it should have (capabilities) but currently doesn’t.
5. Have more than one Echo? It is not possible to use them as intercom or speaker phones.
4. You cannot use them to remotely command Fire TV or other Echo Devices (ie, “Play ‘The Weeknd’ on Living Room Echo” will not work if said to Bedroom Echo.)
3. You cannot use several devices at once at the same time for multiroom audio, like Sonos is famous for.
2. Other than timers or alarms, you cannot have Echo give any notifications or reminders, and there are no skills or apps that will enable this. Speaking of, you also cannot use custom music or sounds for alarms, or labeling your timers. The default sounds are the only choices.
1. You cannot change the trigger word beyond Alexa, Amazon, and Echo. There is a rumor that Computer may be coming based on it being included but not functional in some Echo Dot builds, but that is unconfirmed.
Amazon, having an initial lead over Google Home and other smart speakers gives the company an advantage of market share. If Amazon really wants us to buy an Echo or Echo Dot for each room they’ll need at minimum to address the five limitations described above but there are most certainly more.