The voice-activated Amazon Echo smart speaker is making its way to retail outlets across the US, the online super-retailer announced today. The move comes after an advertising push for the gadget and will put Echo on store shelves at Home Depot, Staples, Sears and several other outlets, just in time for the holiday shopping season.
Amazon Echo was originally pitched as a voice-controlled, cloud-connected streamer capable of playing tunes from the Amazon Prime music library, reading off weather forecasts and headlines on demand, curating your shopping list, or telling your children jokes.
The Echo has since grown into something of a smart-home centerpiece thanks to. Echo's integrations with popular products like and ; the connected-home platforms of , and ; and give you the option of controlling your gadgets by talking to Alexa, the voice-activated artificial intelligence housed inside.
For instance, you could ask Alexa to turn your desk fan on or dim the lights to 10 percent. We've tested those exact sort of, and they work well enough so for us to consider Alexa a legitimate rival for Siri, who has .
Echo currently sells on Amazon for $180, but Black Friday discounts seem like a distinct possibility, given Amazon's push to position the speaker as a must-have tech gift this year. The full retail rollout is expected to place Echos in more than 3,000 stores across the US -- expect to start seeing them in the coming weeks.