Amazon just unveiled a quirky piece of hardware that not many of us saw coming. It is essentially a smart speaker that’s connected to the cloud. Siri-like functionality enables it to respond to your commands as well as get things done for you. Its hooked up to the cloud so it gets smarter the more you use it. Amazon Echo provides news, information, music and more instantly.


The Echo is always on and its designed around voice. It wakes up when you say “Alexa,” and can then respond to a variety of commands, as seen in the picture posted above. An array of seven microphones under the Echo’s light ring, aided by beam-forming technology, ensure that it can hear you from any direction. There’s enhanced noise cancellation as well so it can even hear you ask a question when music is playing.

There’s immense focus on its ability to play music. Echo has dual downward-firing speakers which produce 360° omni-directional audio to fill the room with immersive sound. It can stream music through Amazon Music, Prime Music, TuneIn and iHeartRadio. Bluetooth compatibility enables it to stream music from services like iTunes, Spotify or Pandora using a smartphone or tablet.

Echo can also be controlled using a companion application for Android and Fire OS. A web app which can be accessed through web and iOS browsers is available as well.

Amazon says that the Echo is going to start shipping in the coming weeks. For a limited time Prime members can get it for $99, otherwise the retail price is $199. It can only be purchased through an invitation sent by Amazon, which you can request here.

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