I love the Amazon Echo and have three of them but one feature Echo needs is "multidevice coordination". Right now, when you have 2 or more Echos within earshot of each other (adjacent rooms, for example) and they both hear "Alexa", they both answer. This quickly creates "chaos and confusion" with a bunch of Echos all talking to you at the same time. Of course, you can change one Echo to listen for "Amazon" instead but then you have to remember which one is Amazon and which one is Alexa which constantly trips you up. Since all the Echos in a building are connected to the same local network, they should be able to coordinate with each other so that only one answers a given Alexa request (preferably the one with the highest measured signal strength for the just-recognized Alexa utterance). I own US Patent # 8,340,975 which provides a technique for devices like the Echo to coordinate with each other to ensure that only one Echo answers each Alexa request. I'd love to work with Amazon to get my technique into the Echo so you can place Echos all around your house for true whole-home hands free automation. I've implemented this technique in other products and it works great. Feel free to contact me privately to discuss this further.
A bluetooth speaker/mic is essentially an Echo. It would have to recognize the Alexa wakeup phrase locally which makes it a speech recognizing speaker/mic. There would still need to be coordination since there's a chance other speaker/mic units would hear the same Alexa phrase. And in some larger homes, the bluetooth signal would not reach the base unit location. IMHO easiest solution is to put a real Echo in each room but have coordination between them so only the closest Echo answers. With a real echo in each room, you can make "turn on the lights" be room specific.
Using Alexa in every single room would be a fairly expensive home automation strategy. The speakers aren't good enough for great whole house audio, and if all I want to do is interact with an echo I can carry a remote with me. I think a cool idea would be to give your echoes a name and then allow using a single remote for all of them. You could set the "active" echo via the remote or through a base unit saying something like "Amazon, set kitchen zone active" and then only that one responds to any commands other than the set zone command. Or, using the remote you can obviously take advantage of the echo from everywhere. Better yet, and usually more convenient when doing music and whatnot...just use the echo app or web page via your mobile device or computer. Smart watch echo control can't be far off.
I second this request and suggest another use... I would like to have a multiple-Echo network that would allow me push a message to another Echo on that network. A good use-case I have is the Echo is in my kitchen and my kids are up a couple flights watching TV after school. I'd love to say "Alexa, tell the boys it's dinner time." and the upper-level Echo wakes up and lets them know. Or possibly just open up a the mic and turn on the other Echo as the output.
I wouldn't say that Echo is a bluetooth/mic, it has those things yes - but they don't define it. The web services that Echo utilizes define it IMHO. Think of Echo as Jarvas (stay with me here). Jarvas exists on one of Stark's servers, and Stark interacts with it on all of his devices. He talks into a microphone in his suit, which then relays the sound to Jarvas' server. Jarvas then computes the necessary response, and sends it back to Stark outputting through the speaker of the device Stark initially spoke into. Echo could work the same way. You could extend Echo's range by connecting a bluetooth speaker/mic to it (going forward I'll call this the Add-On). The Add-On doesn't need access to the internet, as Echo is going to do all of the heavy lifting. The Add-On microphone behaves the same way as Echo's - it doesn't start "listening" until you say the wake word. So to the end-user yes, the Add-On would behave "essentially" the same way as the Echo does, behind the scenes the Add-On isn't anything but a talking box. Echo would be the device that is actually processing everything. Sorry for the wall of text by the way, didn't mean to make this as long as I did.
[i]I would like to have a multiple-Echo network that would allow me push a message to another Echo on that network. A good use-case I have is the Echo is in my kitchen and my kids are up a couple flights watching TV after school. I'd love to say "Alexa, tell the boys it's dinner time." and the upper-level Echo wakes up and lets them know. Or possibly just open up a the mic and turn on the other Echo as the output. [/i] I believe my above comment could do this. It would just require that the Add-Ons be named (something that could easily be done/added to the Echo app). The command could be something like "Alexa, tell Kitchen it's dinner time." Then the Kichen Add-On would output "It's dinner time" through it's speakers. This is totally possible with the Echo. I unfortunately, have no idea how to implement it - but that's why we have Amazon reps in the forum.