Amazon Unveils Echo, a Speaker With a Siri-Like Voice Assistant

Amazon today unveiled a new product called Echo, a cylindrical piece of hardware with a built-in Siri-style voice assistant that's able to answer a variety of requests and perform functions like playing music.

The cloud-connected Echo is entirely controlled by voice and will wake to answer a question when the word "Alexa" is spoken. Like Siri, it can answer questions like "What time is it?" "What's the weather like?" and more, plus it's able to complete tasks like setting an alarm, playing music, or creating a shopping list.

According to Amazon, Echo uses far-field voice recognition capabilities with seven microphones to detect a request from anywhere in a room, and its downward-firing speakers "can fill any room with immersive sound." Echo lets users have access to Amazon Music, Prime Music, iHeartRadio and TuneIn, and with built-in Bluetooth, Echo is also able to play music from a phone or tablet.

As it's connected to the cloud and Amazon Web Services, Echo is designed to learn and gain functionality over time, and an accompanying Amazon Echo app (Android/Fire OS only) or web interface is what lets Echo create alarms, music playlists, shopping lists, and more.

Echo is priced at $99 for Amazon Prime members and $199 for non-Prime members, but currently users must request an invitation from Amazon to be allowed to purchase the device.

Top Rated Comments

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68 months ago
"Alexa, can you tell us how to make Amazon profitable?"
- Jeff Bezos
Rating: 49 Votes
68 months ago
I called the FBI on that family. I have a bad feeling there are dozens of bodies in their basement. And possibly a spaceship in their backyard.
Rating: 28 Votes
68 months ago

"Alexa, can you tell us how to make Amazon profitable?"
- Jeff Bezos

Yeah I saw this comment on the Verge 10 minutes ago too.
Rating: 27 Votes
68 months ago
Throwing all resources/ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks?

Rating: 26 Votes
68 months ago
"Looks like a trash can!"

"What if I had a daughter named 'Alexa' - wouldn't work for me!"

Those are the comments we would get if this was an Apple product. Will we get those here?
Rating: 21 Votes
68 months ago
Just in case you... don't have your cell phone on you, and are in/on exactly the right room/floor?

Rating: 19 Votes
68 months ago
Hahahahahaha. Go home Amazon, you're drunk.
Rating: 17 Votes
68 months ago
Man.. if only they made something like this but pocket-sized... and that could make phone calls and surf the web.

One day.. one day..
Rating: 14 Votes
68 months ago
WTF is this!? "Well the Fire phone didn't work, on to the next dumb idea" - said Amazon.
Rating: 12 Votes
68 months ago

And a smartphone requires you use your hands, activate the smart assistant, attach headphones (if you want good sound quality) etc.

It's not trying to be a smartphone. It's a household appliance, so battery life doesn't matter and it's always on for added convenience. It also has good sound quality from what I can tell. Great idea and a steal at $99.

Is that you Jeff?
Rating: 11 Votes

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