I know what you’re thinking…how useful is this little gadget? It’s basically just another voice-activated doohickey to clutter up your bookshelf and therefore your life, right?

Not so fast. Echo not only comes with built-in functionalities that are intended to make life easier for the user, but also comes with additional features that can help you streamline your home, your workspace, and your life. Sure, it comes across as just another Amazon product designed to help you instantly buy more products from Amazon, but if you play your cards right–and really make friends with it–it has a lot of potential.

What is Echo?

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Amazon's latest offering--one that the company might hope eclipses the flop that was the Fire Phone--is the remote virtual assistant Echo. Think of it as a Siri for your whole house who can kick Siri's butt in a "who can do more?" street battle.