Amazon now lets you test drive Echo's Alexa in your browser

If you've ever wanted to try out the Amazon Echo before shelling out for one, you can now do just that right from your browser. Amazon has launched a dedicated website where you can try out an Echo simulation and put Alexa's myriad of skills to the test.

As Amazon explains, the idea was initially spawned as an experiment by developer Sam Machin during a hackathon last year. The simulation replicates the experience of interacting with the Echo's digital assistant, Alexa, with the press of a button. From Amazon: lives in your browser, so anyone, anywhere can access it and test their Alexa skills. You no longer need an Alexa-enabled device to test your skills. Developers worldwide can use to experience Alexa. Its simplicity makes it easy for anyone to understand what an Echo is and what it does without having to explain Alexa's unique UX.

Getting started with the tool is a simple affair. All you have to do is head to the webpage and login with your Amazon account. From there, you simply click and hold the the on-screen button and speak your command; Alexa will do the rest.

Given that competition in the space is about to heat up in a big way thanks to Google's forthcoming Google Home — not to mention a rumored upcoming Siri-powered offering from Apple — this is a good way for Amazon to get Echo out in front of more people.

See Echo at Amazon

Dan Thorp-Lancaster