SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon today announced that Amazon Echo, the best-selling device designed around your voice, will be available in more than 3,000 stores around the country in time for the holiday shopping season. Customers will be able to visit select locations of The Home Depot, Staples, Sears, Brookstone, RadioShack, Fred Meyer, P.C. Richard & Son, as well as several other retailers to experience and purchase Echo. For a full list of retailers visit www.amazon.com/help/devices/retail.
“Amazon Echo is a must-have gift this holiday season, and we’re excited to work with retailers across the country to make Echo available to their customers,” said Greg Hart, Vice President, Amazon Echo and Alexa Voice Services. “Using only your voice to play music, control your lights, and ask questions is magical, so it’s great that people will be able to visit local stores and try it for themselves.”
“Our customers continue to show interest in smart home products across the many categories we carry. One of our newest products, Amazon Echo, is a smart device that helps make connected home easy and fun,” said Jeff Epstein, Merchandising Vice President at The Home Depot. “Echo, paired with smart lighting devices, is an excellent gift for this holiday season.”
“Staples.com launched Amazon Echo several months ago and the product has been well received by our customers,” said Eric Cayton, VP Technology at Staples. “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.”
“We’re thrilled to have Amazon Echo in select Brookstone stores this holiday season,” said Brookstone CEO Tom Via. “Our goal is to give customers the opportunity to see and try out the best in new technology and gifts, and Echo is a great fit for them.”
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. Additional capabilities include:
- Music: Access Amazon Music, Prime Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and TuneIn using only your voice, from across the room. Simply ask Alexa for an artist, song, genre, playlist, or station, and once music is playing you can pause and skip tracks using voice commands. Plus, Echo is Bluetooth-enabled so you can stream other popular music services like Spotify and iTunes from your phone or tablet.
- Connected home: With integration of Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, WeMo, Insteon, and Wink products, use Echo to switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, turn on the fan or heater while reading in your favorite chair, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie—all without lifting a finger.
- Local Search with Yelp: Use Echo to get info on local businesses and restaurants—straight from Yelp. Craving cashew chicken? Just ask: “Alexa, find me a nearby Chinese restaurant.” Or wondering when the pharmacy closes? Just ask: “Alexa, what are the hours for a nearby pharmacy?”
- Audible: Listen to audiobooks from Audible with Echo. Simply say: “Alexa, read my book.” Echo also supports Whispersync for Voice, which allows you to seamlessly switch between reading and listening without losing your spot. Start reading on Kindle, and pick up on Echo right where you left off.
- Google Calendars: Access Google calendars with Echo—just use your voice. Hear what’s on the calendar for the day or check if you’re free for dinner with friends.
- If This Then That (IFTTT): Create IFTTT recipes to make your life simpler and more manageable. IFTTT is a service that connects your devices, apps, and websites with simple rules called “recipes.” With IFTTT recipes, you can use Echo to add shopping items to Evernote, automatically email your to-do list to your spouse, add your Echo to-do list to your iPhone, and more.
- Re-order Prime-eligible products: If you’re low on kitchen supplies, want to restock on snacks, or need more rolls of duct tape for the garage, simply ask Echo to place an order for you. Echo uses your order history and can order the Prime-eligible item for you using your default payment and shipping settings. If Echo can't find the requested item in your order history, it may suggest an item for your approval using Amazon’s Choice, which picks highly-rated, well-priced, Prime-eligible products.
- Sports scores and schedules: Alexa will tell you the results of your favorite team’s last game, the current score of a game they are playing, and the time and date of the next game. To give it a try, simply say, “Alexa, what’s the score of the Seahawks game?” or “Alexa, when do the Seattle Sounders play next?” Alexa knows scores and schedules for the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB, MLS, NCAA basketball and football, and WNBA.
- Traffic: Just save your work address and Alexa will tell you the quickest route and travel time to work each morning so you know exactly what to expect before leaving the house. You can also add a stop to your commute in case you need to drop off a child at school or stop by a coffee shop on your way to work—just add the stop to your settings, and Alexa will give you the route and travel time.
- Customized news: You can now hear from more sources in your news Flash Briefing including Fox Sports Radio, The Economist, NPR Business, TMZ, and ESPN Radio via TuneIn.
- New Skills: Other companies, developers, and hobbyists are creating new capabilities through the Alexa Skills Kit. Several have launched so far, with more coming every week. You can ask Alexa for recipes from Campbell’s Kitchen, local events from StubHub, check who’s polling strong on Twitter, and more.
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. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/echo.
Amazon.com opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about.