Amazon has just announced Echo, a new speaker that can play music and responds to voice commands.
The dismal failure of the Fire Phone has not curbed Amazon from releasing more hardware.
Today, the company has debuted a new 9 inch tall speaker that can not only play music, but can also respond to voice commands that will allow users to search the internet and shop for items using Amazons service.
The new personal assistant that lives inside Echo is referred to as “Alexa” and is activated when you call her name.
Alexa is the product of Amazon’s many speech company acquisitions including Evi, the text to speech company Ivona and the voice recognition company Yap.
One of the biggest issues with the Fire Phone was pricing, so Amazon have decided to play it safe with the Echo, charging just $199.
Analysts such as Michael Pachter have been critical about the price point however stating, “I think it’s just a two way speaker, but why isn’t there an app that lets me do the same thing without having to spend $199 on hardware. I think this is a solution that is seeking a problem.”
Echo is currently available in very limited quantities as Amazon tests the waters.