Is Anybody Listening?

If Amazon has their way, the answer will be yes. The company announced a new hardware device along with another attempt to lure consumers into joining Amazon Prime. The $199 Amazon Echo is a speaker that is connected to the internet. A somewhat idealized video helps sell the notion of a connected speaker. You wake the Echo by saying "Alexa" and continue with your question or request. The ability to change the wake phrase must exist in the setup. Let's hope so for the sake of people named Alexa and their families.

Amazon is clearly giving us one more reason to join Prime. If you are a member you can purchase the Echo for $99. Yearly Prime membership $99 is a no-brainer if you make routine purchases from Amazon. Two-day shipping on purchases for a year is nearly reason enough. The deal is sweeter still, Prime members also have access to:

Unlimited Amazon Cloud Drive (We'll have a post about this new perk next week)

Prime Instant Video    

Prime Music   

Kindle Owners' Lending Library

It isn't clear how long this deal will be around; so if you are interested; request an invitation fast.