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AI / Alexa / Amazon

Review: Echo Buttons

Amazon promised that its list of Echo “Gadgets” would fill up quickly, but that hasn’t been the case so far.  One of the first offerings, though, is the Echo Buttons.

The Echo Buttons are essentially just that – buttons. But, these buttons pair with an Echo device to provide “buzzer” type feedback hardware – much like you’d expect based on the currently available skills for these buttons. These are essentially scaled-down buzzer buttons like you’d see on a TV game show like Family Feud and others.

I’ve read where some have had issues pairing their buttons with their Echo device, but I didn’t experience any issues at all. Those that reported problems, additionally reported that pairing with the Echo Show provided the best success. I guess that might be why my experience was so good – I chose to pair the buttons with the Echo Show first. However, after pairing with the Echo Show and testing the buttons, I decided to test them with another device. Pairing them with an Echo Dot – I had no problem there, either. Go figure.

Each Echo device only supports a max of four buttons. Each set of buttons comes in a pack of two. I ordered two packs to max out my Alexa gaming environment, primarily because I don’t consider a two-person game to be exciting enough, but also because we have six people in our immediate family.

The buttons work great and are a lot of fun. Even though we have two extra family members than max buttons, it was actually enjoyable watching and waiting for a turn. I did notice that the Echo Show provided a much more interactive experience than just a non-screen Alexa device – but both experiences were enjoyable. I fully expect that this capability will come to Fire TV devices soon so you can just use your TV as a much larger Echo Show to play the available game skills.

Most of the skills available only require two buttons – but there are some that do already require four.

The buttons themselves are made from cheap plastic and I can sense that they’ll need to be replaced should they get months of use. But, at $20 for a set of two, they’re easy to replace. Additionally, each set comes with Amazon Basics batteries, but I’m currently not aware how long each set of batteries might last from use. However, Amazon Basics batteries are also pretty easy to get with Prime shipping and more reasonably priced than buying them locally. Here at our house, we don’t buy anything but Amazon Basics batteries any more.

Are these buttons worth the hassle and cost? From our perspective, they turn Alexa into a fun engine. We have thoroughly enjoyed using them and look forward to additional game skills. Alexa has definitely now been added to the list of favorite things for family game night.

The buttons are available in packs of two from Amazon for $19.99: Echo Buttons, an Alexa Gadget (2 Pack)

Currently Available Echo Button Skills

Party Foul – Think you know everything about your friends? Guess again! Put your knowledge to the test as you try to predict how your friends will answer in this laugh-out-loud game of revealing questions and embarrassing answers!

Don’t Cut That Wire! – In this pressure cooker pattern memory game, you will work together with friends to coordinate and communicate the right colors to press to defuse a bomb! Don’t let the bomb explode by always pressing the right color combination for bomb defusing success.

Hanagram – Hanagram is a quiz game based on solving anagrams, suitable for 2 to 4 players. Alexa will read a series of letter clues, and the first player to buzz in and guess the word, gets the point!

Button Monte – Can you keep up with the trickster’s lightning fast hands? Will you be more skillful when the tables have turned? Try your luck at this classic sleight of hand game, for 2 or more players.

Trivial Pursuit Tap – In this classic game, Trivial Pursuit Tap pits players against each other in a fast-paced trivia race to the finish line. Compete with friends to be the first to buzz in and answer questions from one of six categories. If you answer correctly, you can push your luck and attempt more category questions. Win the game by answering the final challenge question correctly!

Sounds Fun with Mike Epps – Mike Epps is well known for his stand-up comedy and as an actor. Well he also has some hilarious sound effects up his sleeve. Guess what he’ll come up with next and challenge your friends to see whose imagination can win the game.

Christmas Buttons – Alexa will merry with Christmas music and brighten the room with holiday colors on your echo buttons. Select from five different songs: Jingle Bells, Deck The Halls, Oh Holy Night, Twelve Days of Christmas, and Joy To The World.

Fourth Down Football Trivia with Philip Rivers – Phillip Rivers hosts an action packed daily game of football trivia. Play on your own or challenge your friends and find out who’s the football trivia champ.

Buzzer Beater Basketball Trivia with KAT – Karl-Anthony Towns hosts a daily basketball trivia game. Test your knowledge on the court or challenge your friends to see who will make it to the pros.

Full Count Baseball Trivia with Buster Posey – Buster Posey hosts a hilarious daily trivia game where you can play with the pros, challenge your friends, and climb the ranks of the baseball trivia legends.

Features

  • Each button illuminates and can be pressed to trigger a variety of play experiences powered by Alexa
  • Bring back game night with a catalog of compatible Alexa Skills such as Trivial Pursuit Tap by Hasbro, Hanagram, Button Monte, and Sounds Fun with Mike Epps. Just ask “Alexa, what games can I play with my Echo Buttons?”
  • Easy setup with an Echo (1st and 2nd Gen), Echo Dot, Echo Show, Echo Plus, or Echo Spot. Just ask, “Alexa, setup my Echo Buttons”.
  • Connect up to 4 buttons with compatible Echo devices using Bluetooth
  • Each Echo Button requires 2 AAA batteries. Includes 4 AAA batteries.

 

Photos

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A community professional, keynoter, and evangelist who has driven social media and marketing strategies, editorial successes, delivered customer successes and built some of the largest and longest-running online communities. Rod has created, managed and grown small, medium, and mega-sized conferences; run entire editorial teams to deliver record traffic and market leadership; as product manager, directed the success of hundreds of product releases; supported sales and marketing to ensure customer success; developed, run and sold businesses; written thousands of technical articles, white papers, case studies, and technical documentation; hosted and delivered hundreds of attendance shattering webinars and virtual tradeshows; and delivered keynote speeches and sessions at a wide variety of events including conferences, webinars, events, and user groups.

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