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Now That Anyone Can Buy Amazon Echo, Where Will It Go?

The voice-controlled smart home hub will cost $179.99.

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Starting Wednesday, Amazon's Echo will be available to the public for $179.99. The voice-activated smart home device — something like Siri for your living room — debuted seven months ago on an invitation-only basis, and people seemed to really like it:

After using Amazon Echo for a week I want so many things in my house to be voice controlled. Microwave. Stove. Lights.

About a week into owning an @amazonecho and I'm really digging it. Especially the shopping list ... oh, and trolling workmates in slack

I am in LOVE w/ my Amazon Echo got it yesterday & I can't stop using it! Greatest purchase ever!! Amazon makes my life so easy! #AmazonEcho

Based on the description alone — it's a voice-activated assistant — it's hard to make a case that the Echo is something that anyone needs.

But you might want to order groceries without calling, clicking, or leaving the house. Or put on a Pandora playlist without looking at a screen. Or hear your day's schedule read off in the soothing, slightly accented voice of a robot named Alexa.

For those situations, you now have the chance to try out Amazon's latest piece of hardware. You, too, could be this guy:

Of course, Amazon's track record isn't the greatest when it comes to new hardware, and all those happy Echo owners who bought the product during its invitation-only phase were likely Amazon fans to begin with. Putting it up for sale to anyone with the money to buy it will be the real test.

  1. Amazon Echo Is Destined For ...

    My kitchen counter, where it will improve my life and Amazon consumer binges.
    My closet, where it will gather dust after the novelty wears off and I stop using it.
    The Amazon museum of failed Amazon devices, right next to the Fire phone.

Now That Anyone Can Buy Amazon Echo, Where Will It Go?

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Amazon Echo Is Destined For ...
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    My kitchen counter, where it will improve my life and Amazon consumer binges.
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    My closet, where it will gather dust after the novelty wears off and I stop using it.
  3.  
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    The Amazon museum of failed Amazon devices, right next to the Fire phone.

Brendan Klinkenberg is a tech reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.

Contact Brendan Klinkenberg at brendan.klinkenberg@buzzfeed.com.

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