Amazon just surprised everyone with a crazy speaker that talks to you

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Amazon is building a speaker that’s controlled with your voice. It’s called Echo, and Amazon tells The Verge it will be “shipping in the coming weeks.” Available on an invite-only basis to start, Echo is regularly priced at $199. But for a limited time, Amazon will offer Echo for $99 to Prime members who receive an invite.

Today Amazon did just that, introducing Echo, a talking, listening piece of electronic furniture. It’s like having the internet on your kitchen table, cracking jokes and settling bets, and it’s the most innovative device Amazon’s made in years.

Amazon has had success with hardware before (Kindle) when it’s been out in front of the market, but it was late to the smartphone game and its Fire phone sales suffered. Now, it’s trying something entirely new and there’s huge potential, if it’s done right.