It Looks Like Amazon Is Winning the Race to Wire the Smart Home

The future of smart devices is in the home, and increasingly Americans are turning to Amazon as a source for those devices.

More than 8 million Americans now have an Amazon Echo device, with the number of Echo households tripling in the past quarter, according to a new report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. Awareness of the Echo among Amazon’s customers increased from 47 percent at the end of 2015 to more than 80 percent at the end of 2016. That’s pretty impressive, given that the device has only been available since March 2015.

“Amazon efforts to promote the expanded Echo product line appears to have paid off,” Josh Lowitz, partner and co-founder of CIRP said in a statement.

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The most popular use for the device is as a source of information, with more than 60 percent of users saying that they ask it questions. More than 40 percent use it as an audio speaker, and just over 20 percent use it to control home systems such as lighting, television or heat.

Amazon Echo and the smaller Echo Dot topped Amazon’s holiday best-seller list and helped push the e-tailer to its strongest ever holiday sales. Amazon said that sales of Amazon Echo increased 90 percent in 2016 over 2015, and Echo Dot is now the best-selling, most gifted item on Amazon.