Brick-and-mortar retailers will begin selling Amazon’s hardware device that just so happens to make it easier for customers to order items from Amazon.com. Coming to a retailer near you in time for Christmas is the Amazon Echo.
Amazon announced on Tuesday that 3,000 stores will carry the Echo including Best Buy, The Home Depot, Staples, Sears, Brookstone, and RadioShack.
The Echo is like a smart phone in that it’s connected to the Internet – users can give it voice commands, ask it questions, have it play music, control their lights – and, conveniently for the company, order items from its marketplace. The Echo comes in the form of a cylindrical speaker and microphone that people can place anywhere in their home.
Here’s what differentiates it from computers and mobile devices:
“Amazon Echo is hands-free and always ready, and with seven microphones and beam-forming technology, it can hear you from across the room – even while music is playing. Alexa – the brain behind Echo – is built in the cloud, so it’s always getting smarter. Echo offers hands-free voice control for information from Wikipedia and the web, weather, timers and alarms, news, shopping/to-do lists, and much more.”
Staples made the Amazon Echo available for sale on its website several months ago and said the product has been well received by customers. In Amazon’s announcement, Staples Vice President of Technology Eric Cayton said, “We are excited to continue to work with Amazon to offer Echo in select Staples retail stores and on Staples.com during the holiday season.”
Amazon Echo is currently available for $179.99 at Amazon.com, and will roll out to retail locations across the U.S. in the coming weeks.
Amazon has more information on its website, including international retail locations that sell Amazon hardware.
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