The Amazon Echo has been an interesting device for a good while now- it's basically a smart hub for your home which can listen and respond to your queries. And now its coming to Europe.
The Echo has just launched in the UK and Germany, bringing the Alexa virtual assistant to millions of new homes. Here's an idea of what it can do.
It's a super cheesy ad but you get the idea, and the ecosystem for the apps it can access and the 'skills' the Echo can acquire continues to grow. It's a smart assistant who is constantly listening (which isn't creepy, honest!) and capable of playing music, changing your lights and - yes - ordering stuff from Amazon.
Amazon also just announced their new Echo Dot which is a smaller version of the Echo that combines the same features. The biggest difference is that the speakers are a lot smaller, so you might not get room filling sound from services like Spotify.
The Echo costs £150 (€175) while the dot goes for a mere £50 (€60). It sounds like a great deal, especially the Dot, but naturally it's not quite that simple.
For one, you can't order either device directly to Ireland at the moment, though services like Parcel Motel should get you by that awkwardness. The other potential issue is that it isn't officially supported in Ireland, though some Irish folks on Boards.ie seem to have been getting on fine with many of its functions.
Just make sure it's not a pretty paperweight before you buy!
The Echo launches on the 28th of September, with the Dot following on October 20th.