GE has built a new voice-controlled, LED “smart” lamp that can listen and talk to you, just like the way Amazon Echo does.
In fact, GE says it comes with almost everything the Echo offers — only with the added benefit of lighting.
The lamp is powered by Alexa, Amazon’s voice-controlled technology that’s behind all Echo products.
Amazon opened up the technology to third party developers in 2015 through a program called Alexa Voice Service. GE simply took advantage of it, making this the first lighting device to embed Alexa’s voice technology.
“We’re really inspired by voice as an incredible new user interface. We’re giving people an alternative by having this combination for the first time,” Jeff Patton, GE Lighting’s GM for Connected Home Products, told Business Insider.
That means users can tell the lamp to play music, order pizza, or give the latest news, all through voice commands. It also comes with its own speaker, but it’s not as powerful as the Echo’s, which makes it closer to the smaller Echo Dot. Patton said the device isn’t meant to compete with the Echo, but provide another option to customers, helping expand the broader voice-controlled device ecosystem.
That’s exactly what Amazon intended to do when it launched AVS. By stripping out the real brain behind the Echo, and giving others access to it, Amazon let anyone build their own hardware product powered by Alexa, paving the way for the Alexa ecosystem to become the go-to platform for voice-controlled devices.
GE’s new device comes from C by GE, a new connected light bulb product line launched earlier this year by GE Lighting. It will be available for pre-orders in early 2017. The price isn’t finalised yet, but Patton said it will be less than the Echo’s $180 price point.
Here’s a video of how GE’s new LED lamp works:
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.