Amazon has dropped the price of its Echo Dot – already a budget version of the Echo voice control system – from $90 to $50. It’s also offering bulk discounts with the idea of people filling their homes.
The full-sized Echo device appears to have become established despite being somewhat awkward to describe and promote. In short it’s a combination of a speaker and a microphone with voice recognition and a Wi-Fi connection.
That allows it to carry out a range of voice-controlled tasks such as playing music and answering questions. It’s also compatible with a range of smart home technology such as lighting and heating systems.
The Dot is a smaller and cheaper version that cuts the costs by having a smaller and less-powerful speaker. The theory is that this will be fine for giving spoken information. It will play music if needed but for better sound quality it can be connected via Bluetooth or an audio cable to an external speaker.
The price drop seems to be part of a revised Amazon strategy for people to put multiple Echo and Echo Dot units around their house, boosted by “buy five, get one free” (Promo Code: DOT6PACK) and “buy 10, get two free” (Promo Code: DOT12PACK) deals.
The technology is set up so that the Echo and Echo dot units automatically communicate to one another. When users speak, the units will figure out which device they are closest to and then that unit will respond.