Amazon on Wednesday introduced the Echo Plus, a new speaker that Amazon wants to be the hub of your smart home arsenal. It can connect and control other gadgets around your home via various wireless protocols, making the setup process simple and painless.
The idea behind Echo Plus is users don’t need to use apps or skills to control the products around their home. So long as a smart home product is compatible with the Echo Plus, they should be able to communicate just fine. That includes everything from light bulbs to appliances.
According to Amazon, the Echo Plus works with brands such as Philips Hue, GE, Kwikset, and more. It also works with the usual suspects of music streaming services, including Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify, and IHeartRadio.
The Echo Plus features Amazon’s second-generation far-field microphones, according to Amazon, while also introducing support for Dolby Sound. Amazon will sell the Echo Plus for $149, which also includes a Philips Hue smart bulb in the box.
Preorders for the Echo Plus go live today with shipments scheduled to go out next month. Amazon said the free Philips Hue smart bulb offer will only be available while supplies last.