Want to take Amazon’s Alexa voice service for a spin, but don’t want to spend money on an Amazon Echo or another product with Alexa support? All you need is a web browser.
Amazon has launched Echosim.io, a website where you can interact with with a virtual Amazon Echo. It’s aimed at developers, but anyone can give it a try.
You’ll need a computer that has a microphone, and you’ll need to grant the web page permission to use your mic. And the experience isn’t exactly like using an Echo. You have to tap and hold an on-screen button while speaking (which, I guess, makes Echosim a bit more like the Amazon Tap than the Echo).
If you are a developer, the tool lets you test your “Alexa Skill,” to see whether your app or service integrates with Amazon’s voice tools the way you had expected. If you aren’t, the website could help you figure out whether it’s worth spending money on hardware that lets you use Alexa without opening a web browser, such as the Echo, Tap, or Dot, an Amazon Fire TV, or a Triby.