Smart-home technology has been the talk of the town for years now, but to some, it's the Amazon Echo that provides the first truly exciting glimpse into the future. Think of the product as a digital butler. Always at the ready, the Echo discreetly awaits your voice commands. Ask for music, and the small, cylindrical tower fills the room with immersive 360-degree audio. Ask for info—be it the weather forecast or a sports score—and the Echo instantly responds with the answer to your query in a life-like voice. What's more, the Echo keeps getting smarter and smarter, with automatic software updates rendering the gadget ever more useful all the time.
Available on Amazon; $179.99.