Amazon made Echo-branded accessories for its Echo speakers.
Amazon said it has a "new collection of connected products that enhance voice interactions with compatible Echo devices". This collection is called Alexa Gadgets. And one of the gadgets is the Echo Connect, which we detailed for you here, while another one are the Echo Buttons. Here's what you need to know about them.
What are Echo Buttons?
Announced at an event in September 2017 alongside several new Echo-branded devices, the Echo Buttons are a new way for you to play games with friends and family. During a demo, Amazon executives showed how they act as buzzers. In a trivia game, for instance, you can slap them to get the chance to answer a question.
How do Echo Buttons work?
So, Echo Buttons enhance your game-play with a compatible Echo device. According to Amazon, each button illuminates and can be pressed to "trigger a variety of game play experiences powered by Alexa". They basically work with Alexa skills - more specifically, games - and can really help bring back game night in your household.
Details are scarce at the moment, but we assume you'll need to fire up the Alexa app on your iOS or Android device in order to set up an Echo Button and connect it with a compatible Echo device. In promo materials, we can see that Echo Show and Echo Dot will definitely support the gadget, but we imagine other Echo devices will too.
Echo Buttons appear to be battery-powered, as well.
It looks like you'll be able to use several of them at once when using a supported skill. Imagine playing Jeopardy!, for instance, with a group of friends. Each of you could have an Echo Button, and whoever slaps their button first will get the first chance to answer the Jeopardy! question - just like how contestants compete on the show.
Which games use Echo Buttons?
During its event, Amazon highlighted a few skills that will work with Echo Buttons. Those include Beat the Intro from Musicplode, Dungeon Escape, and Sounds Fun with Mike Epps from Ground Control. To activate a specific skill, just ask your Echo device to do so. You might need to open the Alexa app to finish activation.
How much are Echo Buttons?
Echo Buttons will be available as a pair for $19.99 in the US. In the UK, they will cost £19.99 for a pair.
When will Echo Buttons be available?
Echo Buttons have not been authorised by the Federal Communications Commission. Therefore Echo Buttons are not, and may not be, offered for sale in the US until that authorisation is obtained. However, Amazon is expecting to launch them by this holiday season. Go here to sign up to be notified when they're available.