Why Amazon's Echo, the smart-home assistant, could launch a whole new device category

Amazon’s new smart-home device, the Amazon Echo, has been one of the most hyped products of 2015. It can best be thought of as a voice-driven personal assistant — think Apple’s Siri or Google Now — but in hands-free speaker form.

The Echo accepts voice commands and performs a variety of tasks, from playing (and purchasing) music, to creating shopping lists, and completing simple web searches.

In research from BI Intelligence, we test the Echo’s capabilities, and analyse its potential as a media, e-commerce, and smart-home device. We also consider its impact on Amazon’s ecosystem, and whether hands-free, voice-driven personal assistants will become a popular device category in the connected home.

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Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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