Amazon Echo might just have Murdered The Ubi

Just saw this on Amazon’s home page:

They have an Ubi competitor that will basically just eat the Ubi’s lunch in the way that iPods did to earlier MP3 players.
It does everything Ubi does and is $200 ($100 for Prime Members).
The hardware is Way better looking - especially for music.
Plus it ties into Amazon services like your Music cloud.
Oh yeah and you can stream music to it like a Sonos.

Anybody want to buy my Ubi? I gotta unload this thing while there’s still a market left.

It doesn’t interface with SmartThings.

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I’m sure that it will soon enough. Between the SmartThings community, IFTTT, Bluetooth, and (fingers crossed) Amazon, it should. The thing has been public for literally one hour.

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I disagree that the hardware is better looking. First of all, it’s not white. Secondly, this thing is huge and ugly for what it does. 9.25 inches by 3.27 inches giant cylinder with cords and a bulky plug that must sit on the floor or table. That’s the last thing I need to deal with, knock over, move when vacuuming.

A cordless mini version the size of a night light that sits in an electrical outlet would beat the Ubi. And no always on light rings please!

Not to mention, nobody has this yet and no hint of the ability to directly add and control SmartThings devices and all the other stuff Ubi already does.

I already have high quality speakers and subwoofers hooked to an AVR and Chromecast for music from my mobile device. The only advantage I can see with the Echo over Ubi will be if the input microphone picks up commands better. It almost certainly will. And this will be more consumer oriented and easier to buy than the Ubi. Yet, since most phones already do this for you, I doubt this devices will be that popular in the main stream.

I would call it a much overdue death of over-priced Sonos speakers more than an Ubi killer at this early phase.

Amazon traditionally keeps their products very closed in nature. I’d be surprised if IFTTT integration ever happen even.

Yeah I’m not holding out hope that Amazon will do the opening up. However, if the most closed up company in the world (APPLE) can have their iPhone jailbroken against their wishes over and over and over, then there’s help that someone can do this device.

When I said that the hardware looked better, I meant the specs and build quality. The speakers look WAY better. The microphone spectrum seems like it’s better too. Now, your/my view on the aesthetics of the two devices is a whole other matter.
I do agree with you that this could be a decent alternative to the Sonos.

It would appear that, even with the seven microphone array, they haven’t solved the “listen across the room” problem, as they’ve also included a microphone in the remote.

It will be interesting to read the reviews when they come out…

I would guess the remote need not be in the same room but then the reply might be more difficult to hear. If the echo was in my living room and the remote was in the kitchen that might be useful to me.

We’re not going anywhere!

Just wrote a blog about Ubi and Amazon Echo here:

Yeah I just read this as I have an Ubi and follow the blog. I’m always rooting for companies like Ubi to win out over companies like Amazon who just try to walk in and gobble up a category. There are a few cases where the little guy even wins big (Intuit/Quicken over Microsoft Money - Netflix over Blockbuster to name a few).
Stay open, and keep innovating!

Love how they say “It only hears you when you use the wake word”…lol
If it wakes up with a word or a verbal command, it is ALWAYS listening.

The question to be asked is, If it is always listening, what is it reporting??

This is in their email:

We’d love to hear your ideas for what you might build for Echo. Contact us at

Having this integrated would be incredible!

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Hey Tim, are you still thinking so? LOL Have you gotten one yet? Or do you know if someone made any progress integrating it yet? I am getting mine in couple of days. Finally!

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Several community members have official Echo access, others are hacking around, much being done. :smile:

Technical discussion here:

Nontechnical here: