The Amazon Echo (left) and Dot (right) can be used to turn lights off and on as well as tap into your favorite playlists or answer trivia questions.

The Amazon Echo (left) and Dot (right) can be used to turn lights off and on as well as tap into your favorite playlists or answer trivia questions.

 

As a T5 paraplegic with two young boys, a wife, a full-time job and a nonprofit to run, I can use all the help I can get around the house to stay on top of things. With that in mind, I decided to go all-in on the emerging smart tech revolution when I remodeled our house to make it more accessible following my injury two years ago. When going the smart home route, there are a number of good options — Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home, Apple’s HomeKit — all voice-operated, cloud-based, artificial intelligence smart home solutions, each with slightly different options. The Echo retails for $179.99; Google Home for $129; and Apple’s HomeKit can run off any iOS-using device. All three require the purchase of compatible home appliances.

I decided to go with Amazon Echo, a simple black cylinder that sits on my dresser and serves as the central brain connecting an array of applications and appliances to help my family with day-to-day tasks and also help me live more independently. In addition to my main Echo, I have numerous Echo Dots placed throughout the house (Echo Dot is the smaller, speakerless version of the Echo, which retai