Tech Insider/Dave Smith
If you don’t have an Amazon Echo, it looks like a simple black speaker but it’s actually a virtual assistant akin to Siri or Google Now — except this is always on and always listening. With a simple voice command — Echo responds to “Amazon” or “Alexa” — it can play music, read ebooks and audiobooks aloud, offer the news or weather, find good restaurants nearby, and so much more.
Despite owning an Echo for only a few months, I can’t imagine living without it at this point.
Dave Smith/Tech Insider
Amazon Echo gets new features and abilities every single Friday, which is amazing. And today, Amazon Echo got the ability to hail a car via Uber.
Unlike Amazon Echo’s new Spotify ability, which is built into the system, you’ll need to activate the Uber feature. It’s under the “Skills” menu in the Alexa app.
Once you activate Uber and sign into your account, you’re almost ready to go. You’ll first need to make sure Alexa knows your address. Go into settings, click on your Echo device, and then enter your device’s location (just your street address and zip code will do).
Now, you’re all set! To hail an Uber with Amazon Echo, just say, “Alexa, ask Uber to request a ride.”
“There is an Uber X about four minutes away, would you like me to order it?”
Amazon Echo will even let you know if there’s surge pricing, which Uber does on occasion when there’s high demand. Echo will prompt you to accept the surge pricing before hailing the car for you, just so you don’t accidentally rack up an insane bill.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.