An Amazon Echo device is part smart home device, part speaker, and part virtual assistant. You use voice commands to control your Echo device, which can in turn control other compatible devices. If, for instance, you have a compatible smart thermostat, you can ask your Echo to turn your heating on or set it to come on at a specified time. You can also ask your device questions and receive answers, use the speaker to play music or audiobooks, and set it to remind you about appointments or events.