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Far beyond the Echo
Amazon has a solid lead in the smart home hub market, and it keeps widening it. Perhaps the best strategy Amazon has come up with is opening Alexa up to third parties so it can be put in pretty much anything.
2017 may only be beginning but it’s going to be an Amazon-dominant one if these Alexa-enabled gadgets and appliances are any indicator.
If you’re hoping to buy one of them today you’re in store for disappointment: Most of the gadgets featured here were announced at CES in January and are coming in the next few months.
The Sugr Cube
This tiny minimalist speaker is called the Sugr Cube, and it’s one of the latest products to integrate with Alexa. It sports a 24-hour battery life and onboard memory for music storage, making it a powerful little boombox. It also looks great.
LG Smart InstaView Refrigerator
LG took integration with Alexa to mean “go big or go home,” so they put it in a smart refrigerator. The InstaView has a long list of smart features, including Alexa. You’ll practically never have to touch your groceries again.
There’s no doubt that Amazon, Google, Apple, and other companies want users to feel connected to their digital assistants. Lynx is the logical extension of that goal: It’s a small humanoid robot that gives a face to Alexa.
It can also demonstrate yoga poses, which is a really cool feature.
It looks like an Echo but that’s where the similarities en–if you take Onkyo’s word for it. The VC-FLX1 was designed for audiophiles unhappy with the Echo and it also has one other feature missing from Amazon’s own products: A home security camera.
The Meemoo is another entry in the Alexa for kids category. It does things a bit differently than Aristotle, offering parents a smartphone app to control what children can do with it. It also has a digital clock on the front and changes colors based on weather and time of day.
Dok Talk CR25
The Dok Talk CR25 is a five-device charging port that has Alexa built in, making it a practical, if somewhat plain, item. It’s meant to be a bedside device, as evidenced by the fact that users have to push a button to make Alexa listen.
The Triby IO is another upcoming device that comes with Alexa and a bunch of other features. It has an e-ink display that shows the weather, time, calls, messages, and other info. It’s also designed to be portable, which most Alexa units aren’t.