WATCH: What Is Amazon Echo? What Does It Do?

Amazon just announced the “Echo.” This slim, tower-like device can be controlled with your voice. But what exactly does it do? Check out the video above from Amazon to see how this cool device can make your home smarter, cooler, and more connected.

Even people in the tech community are having a hard time finding the right word to describe Echo. TechCrunch has called Echo “a personal assistant in a tube.” Gizmodo called it “a talking, listening piece of electronic furniture.” The Verge simply refers to Echo as “a crazy speaker that talks to you.”

The Amazon Echo is an always-on, voice-controlled hub. It’s also a rich-sounding Bluetooth speaker. When you “wake” the device by saying the word “Alexa,” you can request info on the weather or news, add things to your to-do list, or play music. Most importantly, since Amazon is in the business of selling you things, you can ask “Alexa” to add items to your shopping list.

This smart home device is cloud-powered, and connected constantly to Amazon Web Services. Over time, Echo learns your personal preferences, speech patterns, and more, allowing it to better serve your needs.

The Amazon Echo retails for $199, but Prime members can get the Echo for $99 (but only for a limited time.) Buying Echo is by invitation only, so you’ll have to sign up with Amazon to get your shot at owning this multi-function tech device. The Amazon Echo will ship in the coming weeks.

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