Amazon has always envisioned their Echo products to be more than just voice-controlled devices. They’ve hinted for some time at accessories that will enhance your Echo and today marks the release of their first exclusive one. The Amazon Echo Buttons are dubbed “Alexa Gadgets” and aim to make game time a little more interactive.
The Echo Buttons come in pairs for $19.99 and look like rather simple devices. They’re close to 3 inches in diameter and 1.5 inches in height with a large illuminated button in the middle. The button appears to be able to change color. The device syncs to your Echo using Bluetooth and up to four buttons can connected at one time. Each Echo Button runs on 2 AAA batteries which come included in your purchase.
The obvious use for these appear to be for playing games. Amazon already appears to be building a lineup with Trivial Pursuit Tap, Sounds Fun with Mike Epps, Beat the Intro, and Fourth Down Football Trivia with Philip Rivers. Our guess is the buttons will act like buzzers making for a much more interactive game night with friends and family. If the Echo Buttons catch on as well as the Echo devices have, we foresee tons of other companies utilizing Echo’s new API to build games that feature the first Alexa Gadget.
While the Echo Button is being marketed toward games at the moment, there is a chance that it’ll have broader uses down the line. Similar to the Flic wireless button, the Echo Button may gain functionality to control Alexa enabled devices in your home. So you may be able to use it to turn off lights, lock a door, or order a pizza with a push. This is just speculation for now but it would make sense.
Unless you’re in need of a last minute stocking stuffer, it might be better to hold off on the new Echo Buttons until more information is available. We’d like to see what games will play out of the box along with how deep those games are. We suspect long term this will be a hit as digital party games are becoming more popular. Check back in the coming weeks for our full review.