Echo Hub is easily one of the more interesting hardware devices introduced at today’s Amazon Devices event in Arlington, Virginia. In fact, it’s one of those things Amazon should have introduced years ago.
The system is effectively a wall-mounted tablet designed to serve as a centralized control panel for smart home devices.
“Today, smart home panels are expensive, they require professional installers and they don’t age well,” said smart home chief Charlie French at today’s event. “We set out to change that.”
The system sports an eight-inch touchscreen that centralizes Ring and other security cam feeds, along with a dashboard that features various smart home devices. You can arm security devices and change echo speaker volumes.
The product is designed specifically to work with Amazon’s new Map View feature, which lets users monitor and control different devices on a room by room basis — something similar to what iRobot has promised on its Roomba devices. One wonders whether the robot vacuum was set to be a bigger piece of that puzzle, before the acquisition was slowed by regulators.
Map View arrives for the device next year. Echo Hub arrives later this year, priced at $180.