When Using Your Thumbs Is Too Much To Ask

January 21, 2015

I bought an Amazon Echo yesterday.

Well, really, Fast Horse bought it for me, as part of our agency’s fun little “Muse It Or Lose It” stipend program, which several of my colleagues have written about in the past (such as). What the hell is an Amazon Echo? The manufacturer describes it, in part, this way:

“Amazon Echo is designed around your voice. It’s always on — just ask for information, music, news, weather and more. Echo begins working as soon as it detects the wake word. You can pick Alexa or Amazon as your wake word. Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with immersive sound.”

Voice-activated sorceress, basically. And so far, the reviews on these devices are mixed. As in, a single reviewer often ends up amazed and unimpressed at the same time. I received an invitation to buy one (I had the privilege of being invited to spend $200!), and it was going to expire in a week. I couldn’t pass up the chance to get my hands on this fascinating, goofy little gadget. I love pondering the possibility of what this thing, or things like it, might be capable of in the not too distant future.

Life-changing personal assistant? Elegant, expensive paperweight? Only time will tell. But to be honest, my money’s on clever party trick, but I’m hoping for at least a dash of reasonably helpful laziness enabler.

Stay tuned for a review. I’m slated to receive mine between June 3 and July 9. Seriously.