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Chinese gadget-maker Eufy announced the Genie on Wednesday, a copycat of the Amazon Echo Dot that will ship with Amazon's smart Alexa assistant and will cost even less than the Dot.
Stranger still — Amazon fully supports the company, which is a sub-brand of the more familiar "Anker," best known for portable battery packs.
This is Amazon's strategy to expand Alexa into more gadget and places than other smart home assistants, such as Siri and Google Assistant, in the race to bring AI into the home. The more partners selling devices, the more folks are using Alexa. It just goes to show that, despite the popularity of Amazon's Echo products, hardware isn't always Amazon's focus — services are.
As with the Echo Dot (pictured above), users can say "Hey Alexa" to the Eufy Genie to control lights, check the weather, play music and more. It even has a similar Alexa animation on the top to let you know when it's ready for your command.
The Eufy will launch this month on Amazon and will cost $35, cheaper than the current $50 list price for the Echo Dot.