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(Pocket-lint) - During an exclusive briefing in Seattle, Amazon has announced the Echo Connect, a box that you plug your landline phone connection into to turn it into a voice-controlled system.

The box, which will be launched in the US first and come to the UK and Germany early 2018, essentially gives you Alexa control over your conventional phone line. You will be able to make and receive calls in the home simply by telling it answer or ring a contact.

As it uses your existing landline number, you won't need to sign up for any additional services either. Plus, it all connects to other Echo devices around the home so you can call from an Echo speaker in the kitchen, say, or a Dot in the bedroom.

It effectively signals the end of the basic handset.

The Amazon Echo Connect goes on sale in Q4 in the States, priced at $34.99. Pre-orders will be open imminently.

Amazon also used its special event to announce the all-new Amazon Echo, which also went on sale today. It is smaller than the last model, wrapped in fabric with Dolby sound, and it costs £89 in the UK.

Pocket-lint is at the event and you will be able to read our thoughts as we go hands-on with the new Echo family of products soon.

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Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 27 September 2017.