Apple has Siri, Google has Google Now, and Microsoft has Cortana, but what does Amazon have? Well, while its still pretty hard to get a hold of, Echo is Amazon’s own personal voice assistant but what separates it from the other offerings is that it isn’t locked inside of a smartphone. Rather, the device comes in the form of a cylindrical gadget that is supposed to rest somewhere in your room and will essentially serve as the center og your smart home.
The Echo is Amazon’s latest futuristic gadget experiment. It’s one part Bluetooth speaker and one part personal voice assistant. And it blew my mind. You control the Echo with your voice; you can tell it to do things like play music, read news briefs aloud, add items to your to-do and shopping lists, and tell you the weather. In other words, the Echo is like the realization of HAL 9000 in a black canister, only without the frightening pulsating red camera eye, and not nearly as intelligent. The $199 ($99 for a limited time if you’re an Amazon Prime member) wonder tube is intriguing because it’s one of the first of what will surely be many AI gadgets duking it out to control the connected home.