Amazon has announced that the all-new Echo Dot launches in the UK today. Whereas the larger Echo device has its own speaker, the puck-sized Dot must be connected to external speakers to allow you to control your home entertainment system using your voice. It also works alone if you'd just like to chat to Alexa, the Echo's artificial intelligence, using a rudimentary built-in speaker.
The Echo Dot costs £49, while the wine-bottle sized Echo costs £149. Smaller, and designed to be peppered around the home to allow Alexa to hear you wherever you are, the Dots can also be bought in discounted packs of six or 12.
As well as announcing the availability of the Echo Dot in the UK, Amazon has launched a number of new abilities for Alexa. If you own multiple Echo devices, she can instantly determine where you're standing and only respond from the nearest Echo, rather than bellowing at you from multiple directions.
She can now order items from Amazon Prime, carrying out transactions entirely by voice and without the need to visit the website or app, by responding to your requests with a suggested item and a price before asking you to confirm.
Alexa has improved her sports knowledge too, and can chat about fixtures and results from the Champions League. The abilities will be available from today for current Echo owners.
Earlier this month Google announced Google Home, their competitor to Amazon Echo.