Amazon's Echo personal assistant (powered by Alexa) is an unusual device that's had a very beta-existence since its launch last summer. It still struggles to hear certain commands, and its utility is limited to certain areas, but that isn't stopping Amazon from releasing new features — like a new fitness option announced this week.
You heard right; you can now ask Alexa to start a seven-minute workout, for instance, and she will provide "a set of excercises designed to increase metabolism, improve energy, lower stress, and remove fat." Amazon says it's a third-party inclusion to the device. We can't help but wonder how helpful workouts by voice command will be, but maybe we shouldn't judge until we try it out ourselves. It might be more effective if you could schedule it to start barking commands at a certain time of day to get you off the couch and start doing squats.
Less exciting new features include "Ask Fidelity," which will pull up stock quotes by name or ticker symbol, and you can also ask for information about the latest Republican and Democratic debates, because they just keep on coming. The latest software should be available automatically on your Echo, if you have it plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi.