Amazon’s Echo Hub is launched

Smart home hubs and gateways are used to tie together and control a whole plethora of smart home devices (thermostats, plugs, lighting, sensors, etc.) in a user-friendly way. Most of these hubs have been used for professionally fitted smart home systems. Many consumer-built systems have tended to rely on smartphone (or similar) apps to control the system, often requiring several apps to control devices on different platforms (Amazon, Google, HomeKit, Philips Hue, etc.).

As consumer build smart home systems increase in popularity and expand in the number of devices used there is an increasing need for smart home hubs that can control these devices, with the hub being part an integral part of the system. The new Amazon Echo Hub is one such smart home hub.

One of the key features of Amazon’s Echo Hub is that it supports Zigbee, Sidewalk, Thread, Bluetooth, and Matter. So, it can (in theory) control and bring together devices from several different smart home platforms. As it is an Alexa device, you can control it with your voice and Amazon suggests several ways you may do this such as “Alexa, discover my devices” or “Alexa, arm my home”. It uses an array of 3 microphones for voice pick up. The key feature that will determine the success of this device will be how easily it can discover and control devices already in a smart home. Matter should make this possible.

As stated in a previous post, sustainability is finally starting to take a more prominent position in device marketing and Amazon states that the Echo Hub is “made from 27% recycled materials. 100% recyclable packaging”. This is encouraging but more needs to be done to increase the % of recycled materials and to ensure recyclability after the device gets to the end of its life.

Other key features include a passive PIR proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, stereo speakers, and touch control. It uses a MediaTek MT 8169 A processor.

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