The newly revealed Echo Hub is a new device for managing various smart home gadgets around your house. It has an 8-inch display and is meant to be mounted on a wall, although Amazon says it will also offer a stand accessory.
Although it includes Alexa controls and can behave like standard Echo speakers, it also supports the major smart home protocols, including Matter and Thread — supporting over 140,000 smart home devices. The device supports Wi-Fi by default but can connect to compatible ethernet routers with an optional USB-C cable. The Echo Hub’s infrared sensors can even tell when someone is nearby and shift into a default clock mode when nobody is around.
The device lets you arm your security system with a quick tap, and it will display multiple live camera feeds simultaneously. It can control select smart home devices locally, leading to faster response times. “Now, when a customer taps to turn on a light from their Echo Hub, it can turn on in as little as 300 milliseconds—it feels like flipping a light switch,” the company said on Wednesday.
As with many Amazon devices, the Echo Hub’s killer feature may be its price. It will be available later this year for $180, and you can pre-order