There are plenty of gift guides out there to help you whittle down your holiday options with surgical precision. Those are good and helpful, and you can check out ours here. There also are those circumstances, though, that require a brute force approach, giftees who defy easy targeting; the in-laws, the roommate, the especially esteemed co-worker. Don’t get them a gift certificate. Get them an Amazon Echo. If you’re unfamiliar, the Echo is a cylindrical Bluetooth speaker that listens when you talk to it. This alone makes it ideal for anyone who enjoys making noise or bossing around inanimate objects, and we haven’t even gotten to the fun parts yet.
Before we enumerate the Echo’s manifold wonders, it’s healthy to address two potential concerns. First, the Echo is not cheap. It’s $180, with no announced Black Friday deal yet (Update: It’ll be 30 bucks off until Dec 1st). So it’s not the type of thing you’ll want to bring to Yankee Swap. That it’s slightly fancy, though, works to its advantage; it’s the kind of gift that says, as the iPad did before it, I care enough about you to spend real money, just not on anything necessarily specific to your needs.
Second, and this should go without saying, no, this is not sponsored content. We’ve been writing news articles about the Echo here at WIRED since it was released. The only thing this content is sponsored by is my heart, which has grown three sizes since the Amazon Echo came into my life.