Imagine a home hub that’s always on, always ready to show you the controls you need at any given moment. Not too big, not too obtrusive, but just right. This dream is now a reality with the new Amazon Echo Hub, unveiled at Amazon’s 2023 devices event at HQ2 in Arlington, Virginia. This touchscreen device is your all-in-one control center for all your smart home devices, designed to be sleek, slick, and sexy, very much like a professionally installed Crestron setup but without the hefty price tag.
The Echo Hub is designed for self-installation, making smart home control more accessible and affordable for the average consumer. It gets even smarter with the new Map View feature, which leverages the lidar technology found in an iPhone 12 or newer to scan rooms and create a floor plan. This isn’t a new technology as it’s already being used by top-tier robot vacuums, but it’s a first for Alexa. It allows users to visually set up their smart home instead of verbally instructing, which is inherently more efficient and intuitive.
A Glimpse into the Future: Amazon’s New Echo Hub
In the realm of smart home technology, the idea of a home hub that’s always on, accessible, and not overwhelming in size has been a long-desired dream. The new Amazon Echo Hub, however, is a beacon of hope for those chasing this dream. Unveiled at Amazon’s 2023 devices event at HQ2 in Arlington, Virginia, the Echo Hub isn’t just a touchscreen; it’s your command center for all your smart home devices.
A Sleek, User-friendly Home Hub
The Echo Hub radiates the sleek, sexy, and slick vibes reminiscent of a professional Crestron setup. However, unlike Crestron systems, Echo Hub doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket and is designed for you to set up, install, and use independently. It’s wall-mountable, visually pleasing, and Amazon vouches for its easy installation. For those hesitant about drilling into their walls or dealing with hidden power cords, Amazon provides an alternative – you can simply place the Hub on a counter with a handy stand.
Smarter Control with Map View
The Echo Hub introduces a noteworthy feature – the Map View. Harnessing the power of the lidar in an iPhone 12 or newer models, the Hub can scan your rooms and create a floor plan. This revolutionary feature, familiar to users of high-end robot vacuums, now allows you to set up your smart home visually, rather than instructing Alexa verbally. This visual setup process inherently enhances the user experience, making it more intuitive and user-friendly.
Perfect for Every Room
The Echo Hub is not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing, enticing you to install one in every room. Ideal for entryways, offices, and living rooms, the Hub is priced affordably, making it possible to install multiple units without financial strain. Its user interface, controls, and widgets align with expectations for a sub-$200 device. However, it’s still in the pre-sale phase, so occasional graphical glitches are to be expected.
Comparing Echo Hub and Echo Show 8
The question that arises is why one would choose the Echo Hub over the Echo Show 8. The answer lies in your needs and preferences. Both devices support Zigbee, Sidewalk, Thread, Bluetooth, and Matter smart home standards, have an 8-inch screen, and produce sound. However, if visual home control is your top priority, the Hub is your go-to device. On the other hand, if sound quality and casual home control are more important, the Echo Show 8 would be a better choice.
The Amazon Echo Hub marks a significant step forward in smart home control. By allowing users to visually map and control their homes, it offers an intuitive and engaging user experience. However, its success will ultimately depend on how well it can deliver on its promises in real-world usage. Regardless, the Echo Hub is an exciting development that offers a glimpse into the future of smart home technology.