Stellé, a speaker brand that apparently designs with "women in mind," is launching a bunch of "smart pillar" speakers today. Those smart pillars include Amazon's Alexa assistant and look just like an Echo. I'd just guess Stellé couldn't come up with a better word than pillar to describe the long, Echo-esque speaker its team created. Stellé tells me, however, that its pillar design came out "long before" the original Echo. The original pillars didn't have a smart assistant, obviously.
Stellé debuted its line around the holidays in 2014, and so did Amazon, so I can't tell who came first. In either case, I'm happy for both companies. Congrats on determining that a cylindrical speaker makes sense.
Stellé's new devices come in seven different finishes, including two types of wood and metallics. The real shocking item, though, is the customizable $2,000 pillar the company is debuting. It'll be available through special order and includes Swarovski crystals. (An example's pictured here in the second photograph.)
You can already customize some of Stellé's speakers, like this one:
The idea of a $2,000 Echo is baffling, despite luxury tech always existing. Assistant-equipped speakers usually trend toward affordability. Amazon and Google are essentially in a price war to determine which one can price their assistant-enabled speakers at the lowest price point. The Google Home Mini costs $49, and the Echo Dot costs about the same, depending on deals. (It's on sale for $45 right now.) Clearly both companies recognize that they'll have to make their speakers accessible in order to get them into homes around the world.
If cheap plastic isn't your thing, though, maybe consider adding some Swarovski crystals to your Amazon speaker. Class up your house. Go wild with customization. Because you're totally going to keep this $2,000 thing for life, right?
Update 10/12, 1:10 PM ET: Updated to include Stellé's comment about the pillar design.