Along with the new Echo and a bunch of added Alexa functionality, Amazon showed off a fun new piece of hardware at today’s event: Echo Buttons. Available at $19 for a two pack, the new products are a strange addition to the existing line, which mostly features various iterations of the standard Echo.
The product may well have additional functionality moving forward, but for the time being, it has one primary use: trivia games. The small, colored spheres serve as game show buzzers, tapping into Amazon’s new Gadgets API to provide at home, voice controlled trivia games. They look like Amazon took a page out of 1980s Milton Bradley's play book.
Moving forward, it’s easy to see how such a device could be used as, say, a simple one-button smart home control. It’s a strange move for Amazon that seems to be more about showing off the diversity of Alexa and helping encourage development of third party products featuring the company's smart assistant.