The voice controlled speaker will be available in retail stores.
Amazon has announced plans to begin selling its Echo speaker in select retail stores. The Echo is a cylindrical speaker system with 360° omni-directional audio and voice-controlled commands, offering instant information and music.
"Amazon Echo is a must-have gift this holiday season, and we’re excited to work with retailers across the country to make Echo available to their customers," said Greg Hart, Vice President, Amazon Echo and Alexa Voice Services. "Using only your voice to play music, control your lights, and ask questions is magical, so it’s great that people will be able to visit local stores and try it for themselves."
Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Echo will expand to more than 3,000 stores, including select locations of The Home Depot, Staples, Sears, Brookstone, RadioShack, Fred Meyer, P.C. Richard & Son, and more. The speaker is an always-on device that uses Wi-Fi to connect to the cloud through Amazon Web Services. After waking Echo with the wake word "Alexa," the speaker provides similar functionality to Siri or Ok Google on Apple and Android devices, allowing customers to ask for information, music, news, weather, and more. Likewise, thanks to its cloud integration, Echo actually adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences over time. The speaker features Far-field voice recognition that uses seven microphones to pick up customer's commands. A 2.5-inch woofer and a 2-inch tweeter are integrated as well, offering 360° omni-directional audio.
The Amazon Echo is now available for $180 directly through Amazon. Likewise, the speaker will be rolling out to retail stores in the coming weeks. Click here for a full list of participating retailers.