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Amazon announces an Echo Plus for the smart home

Amazon is launching a new version of the Echo built especially for the smart home. The new device has a smart home hub built in, which will act as the control center for accessories–like connected lights, power plugs, and door locks–around the house. It also features an upgraded audio system, which it hopes will better compete with new audio-focused smart speakers like Apple’s HomePod.

Amazon says it has been working to integrate more than 100 devices “from light bulbs to smart plugs to smart locks” that will integrate with the new device, and the company has taught Alexa a few other new tricks. The Echo Plus starts at $149 in the U.S. (See here for more of the new products Amazon announced today.)