The Future Just Got Cheaper Thanks to the $50 Amazon Echo

The Future Just Got Cheaper Thanks to the $50 Amazon Echo

I've been a fan of the Amazon Echo since it came out. Even at $180, it's a reasonable price to pay to experience the future. Amazon's virtual assistant, Alexa, keeps getting smarter and more powerful all the time. So when Amazon released its $90 miniature version, dubbed the Echo Dot, which does pretty much the same thing but has a less powerful speaker (you can connect to an external speaker via Bluetooth or 3.5 mm jack), that became a no-brainer. The result was it sold out and was selling on eBay for nearly $300!

Related: Hey, Alexa: The Pros and Cons of My Amazon Echo Experience

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Now, not only is the Echo Dot back, it's available in white as well as black, and it's only $50. What's more, if you want to buy five, you get a sixth one free. You could place an Echo Dot in every room in the house. Unlike the Amazon Tap, the Echo and Echo Dot need to be plugged in to A/C power, but unlike the Tap, you don't need to press a button to get Alexa's attention. You just say, "Alexa." (or optionally, "Amazon") and ask her to play music, control lights, or order an Uber or a pizza from Dominos. I'm looking forward to the future (the Echo Dot ships on October 20) and fortunately it just got cheaper.

Echo Dot

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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.