Over 3 million

Test drive an Amazon Echo right from your browser. Credit: Amazon

No one really saw it coming—but with over 3 million units sold, the Amazon Echo not only became an unexpected hit for the online retail giant, it actually managed to carve out an entirely new niche for smart-home devices.

To that end, developer and Echo-enthusiast Sam Machin unveiled Echosim.io as a way to give more users the opportunity to test drive what Amazon’s AI software (Alexa) is all about. And all you need is an Amazon account.

"I've found this really useful for testing out Alexa integrations and developing new skills as I can have it open on my desktop and not have to shout to the Echo downstairs," says Machin. "It's also another option for accessing Alexa when you are out [or] if you have an Android phone."

The Echo

Despite its seeming popularity, many consumers were reluctant to pay $180 for an untested voice-command system. But releasing the web-based version gives them an opportunity to interact with the technology.

That said, the web-based version is currently aimed at web developers who can possibly create new features for Alexa, similar to how apps were created for Apple and Android phones.

The technology also allows for third-party integrations and apps that can offer features such as food delivery to calling for an uber.

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