With Amazon pushing further and further into smart home integration, the company just unveiled at its fall event the Echo Hub, a new device designed to manage all the various gadgets in your house.
Instead of being a traditional tablet or a smart display like the new Echo Show 8, the $180 Echo Hub is centered around an 8-inch display meant to be mounted on a wall. That said, for people like renters who may not want to permanently install the device, Amazon will also make a stand accessory. Just like an Alexa-powered smart speaker, users can control connected devices using their voice while also being able to view live feeds from security cameras and toggle settings and select specific devices via a customizable dashboard. The Echo Hub was also designed to support Amazon’s upcoming Map View UI, which will be added to the device sometime in early 2024.
The Echo Hub includes support for all the major smart home protocols including Matter and Thread. And while by default it relies on Wi-Fi, there will be an optional USB-C adapter that allows it to connect to power-over-ethernet routers like those from Eero. The device also features infrared sensors that can detect when someone is nearby, enabling its display to become a clock when it’s not being used.
Compared to other hubs which often go for $400 or more, Amazon is touting the Echo Hub’s $180 price as a significant advantage while still offering comparability with more than 140,000 smart home devices. And by connecting to other gadgets locally instead of over the internet, Amazon says its hub will react faster to commands with responses in as little as 300 milliseconds.
The Echo Hub is expected to go on sale sometime later this year.
Follow all of the news live from Amazon’s 2023 Devices event right here.