- Nov 30, 2015
I've used a lot of "connected" gadgets. The Amazon Echo is the only one that's actually getting better all the time.
The Internet of Things is still a mess. Few would argue that. There still are too many "standards." Google's Brillo/Weave solution is still in its infancy. Apple's HomeKit is a nonstarter for me or the obvious reason. "Works With Nest" works, I guess, but it still only goes so far. I've never messed with my router too much and am loving the simplicity of OnHub. For a person who does what I do, you'd think I'd be willing to put up with more difficult home tech. But, no. It's gotta be simple for me, for my wife, and for my kids.
Between the Nest and the Ring doorbell and the OnHub and legacy Dropcam and all the other stuff I've dragged through the house (NAS, Xbox, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Canary, to name a few), I've had a lot of stuff come and go. Some I liked more than others. Some I still use.
But of all the connected tech I've brought into my house and into my family's life only one continues to get better all the time. That's the Amazon Echo. And if you have to choose just one piece of connected tech to buy, it's what I'd recommend.
My Echo — Alexa, as the family refers to her — lives in my kitchen. It (she) resided, for a time, in my eldest daughter's bedroom. (When I was a kid we had to have imaginary friends. Now mine just hang with Alexa.) Every morning at 6 a.m. (if not sooner) I trudge out and start the coffee. "Alexa, gimme the news," I mutter in her general direction. That's usually enough. I probably could be a little more polite to her, or address her a little more directly, but whatever. She's a connected speaker.