Amazon's quest to become a part of... well, everything has extended well beyond their focus on online shopping and infrastructure. They now want to become a part of your home. Their Echo range of products puts the Alexa assistant in your home, giving you access to their services as well as connecting you to a bunch of smart home and media services. If you're looking to dabble in that world, the Echo Dot is an inexpensive way to dip your toe in.
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The Amazon Echo was a clumsy implementation for what ended up being an idea with legs. People have an appetite for a seamless voice-controlled assistant. The Star Trek Computer! Jarvis! Hal! Except not evil! It's legitimately cool how easy it is to ask this gadget something and get answers. Yet the Echo didn't do much, and the unvarnished tubular design that required outlet power didn't seamlessly slide into your life like a voice assistant ought to.