Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Amazon Echo - Ordered.

I posted about the Amazon Echo when it was announced back in November. I didn't order one then, but I speculated that it could be pretty cool for home automation. Well, today Amazon announced that the Echo integrated with the Wemo and Phillips Hue platforms, and someone else made a messy hack to control their Wink Hub via the Echo. Amazon is also working on releasing a public SDK that I have high hopes for.

The Echo supposedly retails for $200 for people without Amazon Prime memberships, though I have a hard time believing anyone actually paid $200 rather than sign up for a free Amazon Prime trial. Yesterday was the last day for Prime members to buy the Echo for $100 (it jumped to $150 today). Yesterday I still wasn't convinced I wanted to make the purchase, but I locked in the option for a 7 day period. Today the news broke about Wemo and Hue, and I decided to go for it.

I just bought a bunch of Zwave switches (post about that should be up in the next couple of weeks), though, so my fun money budget was pretty tight. So I signed up for an Amazon credit card, which came with a $70 Amazon credit sign-up bonus. I applied that sign up bonus to the $100 purchase price, and wound up paying $30 out-of-pocket for the Echo! It's hard to get a decent bluetooth speaker for $30, so I'm pretty happy with that deal.

Unfortunately, Amazon is waaaay backordered on the Echos. Mine isn't scheduled to ship until June or July. :-/

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