Amazon Echo launches in the UK - the Future has officially arrived!

First came robotic vacuum cleaners, then the hoverboards, now Amazon's futuristic responsive technology has found its way home, and we couldn't be more excited about it!

We've all watched those space age TV shows and films that predicted how we would live in the year 2016; you know the ones that saw us whizzing around on hoverboards, while robots cleaned our homes and devices that could talk to us organised our lives?
Well, it seems that we blinked and somehow the Future became the Present, and those madcap technological concepts? Well, many of them are actually real!

Amazon Echo- the hands-free voice-activated speaker device that has taken America by storm - is a case in point. Paired with Alexa, a smart cloud-based voice service that can access live information, play your music, answer questions, make your shopping list and even turn your lights on and off on your behalf, Echo is a piece of affordable technology that could easily revolutionise our daily lives.

kitchen with white brick wall chimney gas and wine glasses

(Image credit: Amazon)

Here are just few reasons why we're joining the queue to buy an Amazon Echo...

1 Not only can Echo access Prime Music, play your Spotify playlists and connect to iTunes via Bluetooth, it has 360 degree omni-directional speakers capable of creating all-round immersive sound in your space. Not bad considering that...

2 ...Amazon Echo is designed to disappear - by which we really mean 'be unobtrusive' - in your living spaces. Available in black or white finishes, when it's not busy responding to your every need/ question, the neat cylinder blends into its surroundings.

3 It's polite. Its light points at you when you're speaking to show that it's listening to your every word. And then Alexa responds, regardless of how much activity or noise is around you when you address it - something you can't guarantee your loved ones will do! You can thank the Echo's seven sensitive microphones for that.

4 Any piece of information you want - be it weather forecasts, road traffic reports, sports scores or recipes - Alexa will provide for you (as long as it's available on the cloud). Also, you can dictate your shopping list to it as you run out of items in the house.

5 Connect it to compatible thermostat and lighting devices, such as Philips Hue, WeMo and Hive,and you can control your environment (and, in a way, your utility bills) via Amazon Echo.

smart speaker on amazon

(Image credit: Amazon)

There's plenty more to celebrate about this smart device, but the idea that Amazon Echo is the future of home technology seems to be the general consensus. It's garnered rave reviews from all over, including the top tech reviewers at CNET, who reckon 'The Echo may be the closest thing we'll have to a Star Trek computer at home'. Just don't ask Alexa to beam you up. We're almost certain that that functionality hasn't been tested yet!

Amazon Echo is available to buy for £149.99 at Amazon

Ginevra Benedetti
Deputy Editor (Print)

Ginevra Benedetti has been the Deputy Editor of Ideal Home magazine since 2021. With a career in magazines spanning nearly twenty years, she has worked for the majority of the UK’s interiors magazines, both as staff and as a freelancer. She first joined the Ideal Home team in 2011, initially as the Deputy Decorating Editor and has never left! She currently oversees the publication of the brand’s magazine each month, from planning through to publication, editing, writing or commissioning the majority of the content.