10. Amazon Echo Dot
We are gradually getting used to the idea of speaking to digital assistant devices in our homes, but the technology stuttered along in 2018. That’s mainly because the services required to make them useful have been slow to take off in this country. Still, Amazon’s Echo, in combination with assistant Alexa, has good support for the Kiwi accent. It will deliver a news briefing from Newstalk ZB, or check on upcoming Air New Zealand flights for you. It is handy for adding events to a digital calendar, playing radio stations and serving up factoids from the web. I use one to control my home lighting. The Dot is Amazon’s entry-level smart-assistant device – it looks great and has surprisingly good sound.
This article was first published in the December 15, 2018 issue of the New Zealand Listener.