Amazon's Echo lets you sign up for Prime just by asking (updated)

Amazon really wants you to use your Echo.

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As Amazon gears up for next week's annual Prime Day sale, the online shopping behemoth has also opted to lower the barrier of entry for Prime subscriptions. With Prime members previously having to sign up for the service online, Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Amazon Tap, Fire TV or compatible Fire tablet owners can now opt in for a Prime Membership simply by saying "Alexa, sign me up for Prime". Doing so will not only save users time but also money, netting Echo owners a year's membership for $79 -- $20 less than the usual price.

For those who already have Prime, Amazon is also offering a couple of incentives to invest in an Echo. People who use Alexa will get access to Prime Day deals two hours earlier than regular users and receive a range of Echo-exclusive offers. With the cost of an Echo likely outweighing the slight savings you'd make on Prime Day deals anyway, these features will probably only sway those who were already interested in buying one.

While voice-activated shopping isn't exactly anything new, Amazon's decision to let you sign up for an annual contract without having to read the terms (or even see the price) is definitely a first. By removing all the usual steps that come with registering for such a service, the company is clearly hoping that it'll entice a few more impulse Prime signups.

Update: This post has been updated to clarify that early access to Prime Day deals is available through Alexa on Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Amazon Tap, Fire TV or compatible Fire tablets -- not just Echo devices.

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