After a very loud and semi-disastrous launch involving problems connecting to Amazon’s smart speakers through Bluetooth, Amazon has very quietly put its Echo-compatible wall clock back on the market. The device, which mirrors timers set through Alexa via 60 LED lights around the edge was pulled down from the online retailer’s store in late January for some apparently much-needed fixes.
Tellingly, there has been no price increase and the clock is now available at the same $30 price point and can be had as early as tomorrow with pricy one-day shipping or free in two days for Prime members. There’s still no word on a U.K. or European release, though.
The clock’s problems were centered on its Bluetooth connectivity to Amazon’s line of smart speakers, including the Echo, Dot, Spot, and Show, all of which could drive the Amazon Wall Clock. Amazon was pretty quiet about the pulldown, only confirming to The Verge, “We’re aware that a small number of customers have had issues with connectivity. We’re working hard to address this and plan to make Echo Wall Clock available again in the coming weeks.”
The smart home device, which oddly runs on four AA batteries for such a future-forward company, was introduced with moderate fanfare at Apple’s September 2018 hardware event but the device didn’t go on sale until a few weeks before Christmas 2018.
The clock’s primary purpose (other than telling time) was to provide a visual reminder for timers set with Apple’s Alexa-enabled smart speakers. Sixty LED lights defined the minute positions at the perimeter of the clock, while all 60 LEDs are designed to flash at the same time that the paired Alexa device terminates, which continue until the user issues a stop command to Alexa.
According to its original listing on Amazon, the wall clock was required to be paired to, and within 30 feet of, a compatible Echo device. While it will pair with Amazon’s popular smart speaker series, the clock won’t talk to several other Amazon devices currently, including the Fire TV Cube, Fire TV, Fire Tablets or Amazon Tap.
The applications for the Amazon Wall Clock are relatively limited, especially given that it’s a rare smart home device that doesn’t have a microphone or a built-in speaker, making it ineffective as a communications device or music player. However, Amazon and Echo users who are dependent on timers will likely find it a useful addition for things like cooking timers, limiting a kid’s screen time, timing workouts or meditation time.
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