Fortune staffer Stacey Higginbotham covers Amazon's Echo home tech line extensions, Dot and Tap, both of which obey commands of speech recognizing Alexa Voice Service.
Higginbotham notes that the Amazon Echo and Dot both act as voice controllers for a variety of Internet-connected home products like lights and ceiling fans in addition to providing all sorts of other useful features such as offering news, calendars, and answering your questions like an audio search engine. Here's the big conclusion, per Higginbotham:
If people who buy the Echo also tend to use it for the connected home, it could be a gateway device that drives adoption for a variety of products, from light bulbs to thermostats. That means Amazon has done what Apple has not: Build a user-friendly brain for the smart home.