Amazon Echo is a pretty unique product, you’ll be forgiven for thinking that it’s nothing more than a Bluetooth-enabled speaker, which it technically is but it does come with Alexa. Amazon’s virtual private assistant provides users with a whole lot of features which they can access through simple voice commands, for example Echo can be used to control connected smart home devices, or for streaming music just by giving the relevant command. Now it has the ability to give you information about local businesses.
You can already ask Alexa to do things like read the day’s headlines or tell you how the weather is outside, now you can ask it for information on local businesses as well.
Alexa taps into Yelp’s massive database of recommendations to provide information about businesses located near you, Echo users can tap into Local Search results for nearby businesses and easily see what options are available closeby.
Since there’s no visual interface on the Echo itself if you want to find out more about a particular recommendation fire up the Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet and you’ll be able to get the phone number and star rating for that business.
Amazon has been gradually increasing the number of things that Alexa is able to do, the company says that it will continue to add more local search features in the next few weeks.