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Amazon continues its relentless pursuit of smart home dominance with the introduction of the Echo Hub, unveiled at its recent fall event. This innovative device serves as a central control panel for all the smart gadgets in your home, demonstrating Amazon’s commitment to simplifying and enhancing the smart home experience.
Unlike traditional tablets or smart displays like the new Echo Show 8, the $179.99 Echo Hub features an 8-inch display designed to be conveniently mounted on your wall. For those hesitant to commit to permanent installation, Amazon offers a stand accessory as an alternative. Similar to Amazon’s Alexa-powered smart speakers, the Echo Hub allows users to effortlessly manage their connected devices using voice commands. Additionally, it provides real-time access to security camera feeds and offers customizable dashboards for toggling settings and controlling specific devices. Notably, the Echo Hub is primed to support Amazon’s upcoming Map View UI, expected to be rolled out in early 2024.
The Echo Hub boasts compatibility with all major smart home protocols, including Matter and Thread. While it primarily relies on Wi-Fi connectivity, Amazon has thoughtfully included an optional USB-C adapter for those who prefer power-over-ethernet routers, such as those from Eero. To conserve energy, the device incorporates infrared sensors that detect nearby presence, transforming its display into a clock when not in use.
What truly sets the Echo Hub apart is its affordability. With a price tag of just $179.99, Amazon aims to undercut the competition, which often demands $400 or more for similar hubs. Despite its budget-friendly price point, the Echo Hub offers compatibility with an extensive range of over 140,000 smart home devices. Amazon’s focus on local device-to-device communication ensures rapid response times, with commands executed in as little as 300 milliseconds.
The Echo Hub is slated to hit the market later this year, promising to revolutionize the way you interact with your smart home gadgets.