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To control your smart home devices without having to wade through hundreds of different apps, you need a smart home hub. A smart home hub allows you to control all of your connected smart home kits from one place, making controlling your smart home a whole lot easier.

Amazon Echo devices make great smart home hubs, allowing you to connect and control smart home devices using your voice. Building a smart home with Alexa is one of the easiest ways to get into the smart home world.

Thanks to the launch of the Amazon Echo Hub, things are about to get even easier. Whilst previous Echo devices can be used as smart hubs, they were always smart speakers or smart displays first. The Amazon Echo Hub has been designed with the smart home in mind. What is the Amazon Echo Hub, and what can it do for your smart home? Here's what you need to know.

What is Amazon Echo Hub?

Echo Hub

Amazon Echo Hub is a new device from Amazon that's intended to help you control your smart home. It's a wall-mountable smart home control panel with an eight-inch touchscreen. As well as using your voice like with any other Echo device, you can use the customisable dashboard on the touch screen to control your smart home with a tap. The Amazon Echo Hub is designed to be the heart of your smart home, allowing you to control all of your smart home devices from a single location without using voice commands or navigating through the Alexa app on your phone.

What can Amazon Echo Hub do?

Using the touchscreen display, you can control your smart home with just a finger tap. You can use the dashboard to turn on your lights, power up a smart plug, turn on a fan, or open your blinds. You can start a routine with just a single tap, so when you're ready for bed, the Amazon Echo Hub can lock your door, turn off your lights, power off the TV, and turn down the heating.

The Amazon Echo Hub can also help with your home security. You can use the touch screen to enter the code to arm or disarm your security system, and it will also allow you to view multiple camera streams at once. It means you can monitor your security cameras and video doorbells with just a quick glance.

Your Amazon Echo Hub can also control other Echo devices in your home. If you're playing music from all of your Echo speakers at once, you can use the control panel on your Amazon Echo Hub to change the volume for all of your Echo devices from one place.

The Amazon Echo Hub will also allow local connection to select smart home devices. It means that since commands don't need to be sent to the cloud to be processed, your smart home devices can react even faster. Amazon says that the response time using the Amazon Echo Hub with locally connected devices can be as little as 300ms.

A built-in infrared sensor can also sense when you're near the Amazon Echo Hub and adapt the display accordingly. When you approach the Amazon Echo Hub, you'll see your smart home dashboard, but when you're not up close to it, you can personalise it to show your favourite photos instead.

What devices will work with the Amazon Echo Hub?

Amazon says that over 140,000 smart home devices are compatible with the Amazon Echo Hub. It's a safe bet that any devices you already use with Alexa will be supported, and the Amazon Echo Hub has support for all the major connectivity protocols, including Matter, Thread, Zigbee, and Wi-Fi.

Does the Amazon Echo Hub have Map View?

Amazon will soon launch a feature called Map View which allows you to scan your home to create a personalised floor plan and then control your smart home devices using the interactive map. If you want to turn on the lamp in the bedroom, tap the relevant icon in the bedroom portion of the Map View, and the light will turn on.

Map View is ideally suited to the Amazon Echo Hub, and Amazon says that Map View will be added to the device as an over-the-air update early next year.

How much will the Amazon Echo Hub cost?

The Amazon Echo Hub will go on sale later this year and will be priced at $179.99. You sign up to receive alerts when it goes on sale at the link below.

Amazon/ Pocket-lint
Amazon Echo Hub