PRODUCTIVITY: Mobility issues – here’s a ‘toy’ that will surprise you with its utility

Echo dot, a gadget that’s much more than a toy.

We received an Echo Dot (3rd gen) recently and believe it is one of the best gadgets you can have in your home.

Echo Dot
The Echo Dot (3rd gen) is not a toy really. It is a practical device that you will use in almost any or every room in your home and for people with physical disabilities, it will become an invaluable assistant in no time.

What is Echo Dot
In its simplest form, the Echo Dot is an excellent little speaker. It’s an alarm clock. It’s a radio. It’s a weather reporter. It’s a news reporter. It’s a reminder device. It’s a list maker.  How’s that for ‘simple!’

An Echo Dot (3rd gen) is a device that responds to your voice activating a radio, a weather reporter, a news reporter, an alarm clock, a reminder to help you remember things. You activate the Echo Dot by a ‘wake-up name,’ the default being Alexa, and then you state your need or ask your question. The Echo Dot responds relatively to what is asked.

At its more sophisticated capacity, the Echo Dot is an electronic control center for home devices that are plugged into an Echo associated power outlet.

Sound quality
For such a small device, an approximately 4 by 2-inch ‘hockey puck,’ the sound quality is impressive. The tone qualities are very satisfactory, with very limited distortion even at peak volume which is more than adequate for most rooms unless you need party level decibels. Really, this is an excellent radio, music source, and/or an alarm clock.

Limitations and purpose of an Echo Dot
The Echo Dot’s purpose is an interactive control device for your ‘smart home.’ A smart home has numerous devices such as lights, audio devices, TV’s connected to a controlling device such as the Echo Dot. In such a home, you can have lights controlled by the device, door locks activated or deactivated by the device, volume levels of external speakers controlled by one master device. The Echo Dot is like having a butler or maid doing various jobs for you at your command. Plug in a device into a ‘smart plug’ and that device is controlled by your voice via Echo Dot.

Echo Dot in its simplest form is a base unit, a single device about the size of a hockey puck that responds to your voice commands. That function alone makes the device a worthwhile purchase. Persons with movement restrictions or physical disabilities may find the device a real boon assisting them in various ways. The base unit gives people access to news reports, weather forecasts, radio broadcasts and music all at the command of their voice.

The limitations
To use Echo Dot at beyond its base form, one needs purchasable accessories such as power outlet plugs, special bulbs and other devices that respond to computer activation. Along with that first limitation, users should also be aware that today many audio sources for music and radio are available as low-cost subscriptions their cost depends on the quality, sophistication and comprehension of what they offer. Amazon music, Spotify and Apple iTunes are much like cable TV, relatively inexpensive audio sources costing about $10 a month.

Price and value
Recently a number of electronics stores such as Best Buy and Staples were selling the Echo Dot, (3rd gen) at $39.99 plus tax, a price that is excellent ‘bang for the buck.’

Already have a radio? An alarm clock? A TV set? And you control them with a knob, a button, a switch or a remote controller. Then you don’t need an Echo Dot. In reality, no one does really. But if you like convenience, want information or entertainment at your beck and call at a very acceptable price, then the Echo Dot is your device, one which responds to your voice without complaint, whenever you make a request.

A great gadget for your kitchen, home office, bedroom and many other locations in your home.  

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