LG’s SmartThinQ Hub looks a lot like the Amazon Echo. It’s the first thing that occurred to me when it was announced right around CES of this year, and it was probably the first thing that occurred to you, too. And like the Echo, LG’s tall black speaker tower connects to various smart home devices, streams music and offers up notifications.
When it was announced, it appeared that most of the similarities (many though there are) ended there. The device didn’t seem to have quite the home assistant cred of Amazon’s offering. But lo and behold all these months later at IFA, the company has announced that it’s bringing the functionality to its device – the rub here, however, is that it’s doing so with Amazon’s help.
Rather than going through the trouble of concocting its own assistant, LG has opted to simply bring Alexa’s third-party functionality to its device. As CNET notes, however, the tower won’t be getting Alexa’s full feature set – not to start, at least. She’ll mostly be relegated to basic functionality like playing music, checking weather and adjusting your calendar.
It looks to be one of those unfortunate cases in which added functionality only further highlights what the device can’t do. Pricing and availability for the Echo’s echo has yet to be announced.