Tech writer Farhad Manjoo has high praise for Amazon's Echo: "Amazon seems on the verge of building something like Iron Man’s Jarvis, the artificial-intelligence brain at the center of all your household activities," he writes in the New York Times. Tech companies have been searching for years for the successor to the smartphone as the "Next Great Gadget," and Manjoo thinks the Echo is the best candidate for that title. For those not in the know, the Echo is a screenless computer you control with your voice—you can tell it to play music, launch a workout, read you the news or the weather, call you an Uber, add items to your grocery list, and much more.
"Many in the industry have long looked to the smartphone as the remote control for your world," Manjoo writes, but often having to use a touchscreen is too much work, and the Echo's voice-control capabilities are more intuitive than Siri's (and can be utilized from across a room). "The longer I use it, the more regularly it inspires the same sense of promise I felt when I used the first iPhone—a sense this machine is opening up a vast new realm in personal computing, and gently expanding the role that computers will play in our future," Manjoo writes. This is "a gadget that has the potential to become a dominant force in the most intimate of environments: our homes." Full column here.