LG has a smarthome hub that looks a lot like an Amazon Echo

Its 3.5-inch LCD display is what sets it apart, though.

LG is like the kid who can't keep what he got you for Christmas a secret. Except here, it isn't gifts wrapped under the tree, it's what the electronics giant will be showing off at CES. A home automation hub, dubbed "SmartThinQ Hub," will join its smattering of monitors and laptops in Las Vegas next week. And honestly, you'd be forgiven if you mistook it for Amazon's cylindrical Echo after a quick glance. LG says that the Internet of Things gizmo "serves as a gateway to smart sensors and connected appliances" but it'll also stream music and via its 3.5-inch LCD, display calendar reminders. No TV required!

The announcement post goes on to say that the device will collect info from smart appliances like washing machines and ovens and dumb household implements plugged into its SmartThinq sensors via Bluetooth, WiFi and Zigbee. That data can either appear on the LCD or the Hub can read them aloud. The hybrid speaker comes in a pair of colors (champagne gold and black), supports Alljoyn's open source platform for ease of interoperability and its manufacturer even recently struck a deal with home improvement store Lowe's to hook in with its Iris home system. The only questions left at this point are how much this thing will cost and if LG will have any surprises left next week.