After announcing 20 new Fire TV products earlier this month, Amazon has taken the wraps off its biggest devices launching this year at The Spheres in its Seattle campus.
Dave Limp, senior vice president of Devices, took the stage to kick off the event and tell a bit of story about Alexa. According to him, Alexa only knew how to do 13 things. With billions of times of customer interaction a week, Alexa can now tell jokes, read the news, set up and provide reminders, and a lot more.
Privacy at its Foundation
Dave also took the chance to assure customers that privacy is not an afterthought at Amazon, and that the company innovates based on customers feedback.
With that said, the new Privacy Hub launched earlier this month gives customers a one-stop shop to learn and manage their privacy settings. An auto delete option for voice recordings older than three months or 18 months will also be added later this year.
Amazon is also adding new commands such as “Alexa, tell me what you heard.” and “Alexa, why did you do that?” to read back and provide a short explanation about her response to your most recent voice request.
Amazon is moving to neural text to speech technology and will roll-out Multilingual Mode that will be available in three pairs initially: US – English and Spanish; India – Indian English and Hindi, Canada – Canadian English and French.
With the new technology, Alexa will be more emotive and expressive and conversing with her will sound more natural. Amazon will also be adding new celebrity voices starting with Samuel L. Jackson later this year.
Echo Dot with Clock
The successor to the fastest-selling Echo Dot ever released last year is the all-new Echo Dot that now has a vivid LED that can display the clock, temperature or alarm times. It’s available for pre-order starting today, for $59.99.
All-new Amazon Echo
The new Echo will have the same audio architecture as the Echo Plus. The increased back volume makes the bass feel stronger and the mids and highs clearer. It comes in Charcoal, Sandstone, Heather Gray and the new Twilight Blue fabric design.
Echo Studio is the first Amazon smart speaker that supports Dolby Atmos. It includes left, right, and top mid-range speakers for directional sound, a tweeter, and a 5.24-inch bass driver with a bass port. Amazon worked with Universal Music Group, Sony using Sony 360 format, and Warner Music Group to make music available from Amazon’s HD Music service and other services over time.
Echo Studio will be available at $199.99.
Echo Show 8
Echo Show 8 comes with a vivid HD 8-inch display with crisp and powerful audio for the price of $129.99.
This is a multi-color smart lamp made for kids. It has Alexa built-in so you can ask for a flickering campfire light for playtime and a Sleep Timer that gradually dims as bedtime nears. A dance party with music and lights feature will also be added later this year.
Another cool functions it has that I’m sure kids will love is its ability to softly cascade through all the colors of the rainbow or light up with your favorite color.
It’s a compact, cordless, and plugs-right-into-your-wall-outlet device that lets you use Alexa wherever you are in the house. It has a small speaker optimized for Alexa voice and a USB charging port that can be used for charging smartphones, or use with other accessories such as motion sensor and smart nightlight.
The new eero has dual band radio and TrueMesh technology for a whole-home WiFi coverage. Customers can interact with Alex to manage the WiFi access. Price starts from $99 to $249 for a 3-pack.
Stick Up Cam
This is Amazon’s most versatile Ring’s camera that can be had for $99.99, 30% cheaper than the current version. It works indoors and outdoors and has a built-in battery. It can also run through solar power using an accessory. It features 1080p HD video, motion detection and night vision.
Amazon Smart Oven
The Amazon Smart Oven is a combination of microwave, convection oven, air fryer and food warmer. It has dozens of presets that can be controlled using Alexa-enabled devices. It will be available for $249.99, including an Echo Dot.
Ring Fetch is a dog tracker that will automatically ping you if your dog leaves a certain area. It will use Amazon’s Sidewalk technology for keeping track of things.
General Motors Alexa Integration
Alexa will be available on all four General Motor brands of vehicles – Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC, brand new or even existing ones via an over-the-air-update.
Echo Buds is the first Echo wearable that offers hands-free access to Alexa. Each has two premium, balanced armature drivers, inspired by professional musicians, to deliver crisp, clear vocals, and dynamic bass. It has 5 hours of battery life and 20 hours more with its case.
Amazon is working with Bose to incorporate Bose Active Noise Reduction technology into Echo Buds.
Day 1 Editions
The first Alexa-enabled glasses will let customers interact with Alexa on the go. It looks like a regular prescription glasses weighing only 31 grams.
The second Day 1 Edition product an Alexa-enabled smart ring. It has 2 microphones that can be activated by tapping a button and vibrates discreetly when you receive notifications or incoming calls. It also comes with a small speaker so you can hear Alexa’s responses.
Echo Frames and Echo Loop will be available in limited volumes by invite only.