Amazon announced over a dozen new products on their annual September Event on September 25th. Most of them work towards the goal of letting Alexa out of your house, with or on you at all times. And all that with the voice of Samuel L. Jackson (which comes with swearing and all).
“The next battle is for your lifestyle, not your pocket.”
- J. McQuivey, Forrester Research
We’ve rounded up the highlights for you below.
Echo Buds ($130)
Alexa has never before been closer than today, you can put it directly in your ears. Amazon’s Echo Buds are the first hands-free headphones by Amazon (not to be confused with other headphones on the market that have Alexa inside, but aren’t produced by Amazon). What makes them so awesome that you want to have them? They have Bose noise-reduction tech, which you can turn on and off by tapping on one of the earpieces and five hours of battery life per charge. And of course Amazon Alexa assistant to control your smart home from anywhere.
Echo Frames ($180)
Echo Frames are the new Alexa-enabled smart glasses that let you talk to Alexa without having to whip out your phone. This means that you can talk to Alexa in all the places you previously could not without being a rude phone person, like at the café or while standing in line. Ok, it might still be rude, which is probably why Amazon is releasing these glasses in a limited quantities to start. The will be available this fall for $180 a pair and you can also add a prescription if you want.
Echo Loop ($130)
Is there any other place you can imagine having Alexa? The Echo Loop is a smart ring (they missed the opportunity to call it a Ring Ring 😁) that gives ‘talk to the hand’ a completely new meaning. You can also make calls with it and it will also support Siri or the Google Assistant. See the product presentation video and imagine that you could soon command your home from any room, without buying a ton of Echos:
The new Echo Speaker (Gen 3) ($100)
Amazon refreshed its Echo device by merging it with the slightly larger Echo Plus. It’s louder, clearer, has a more powerful bass and it comes in blue color, to name a few upgrades.
Echo Show 8 ($130)
This is the third version of the Echo Show and it’s even bigger than before (8 inches). Other than the size (and the price) increase, it’s similar to the Echo Show 5. Amazon is pushing Echo Show 8 in the kitchen with great use-cases for quickly pulling up recipes or playing cooking videos.
Echo Studio ($200)
This speaker is Amazon’s challenger to high-end speakers like Sonos or Apple’s HomePod. It looks sleek and promises serious audio as it also supports 3D audio, including Dolby Atmos surround sound. The magic of Echo Studio is that it can adjust its own sound output depending on the size of the room it’s sitting in.
Echo Dot with a Clock ($60)
It’s the same as the good old Echo Dot, but now it has a digital clock on the front since a lot of people have been asking their Echo Dot for time. The clock can also switch to displaying the temperature if you ask it about the weather or timer if you demand it.
Echo Flex ($25)
As with most home gadgets, the devices need to be plugged in, running a wire around your rooms. The solution? Have a smart speaker that plugs directly into the socket. And it’s cheap too! The Echo Flex comes at $25 and comes with a built-in USB port as well.
Two new Ring cameras ($100 & $60)
The Ring lineup is richer for two cameras, the Stick Up cam and the Indoor cam. As the name suggests, the first one is meant for outside use, and the second one for indoor use and is almost half the price from the Stick Up.
A new networking protocol
Amazon is launching its own networking protocol - the Amazon Sidewalk. It will use 900MHz band to connect to different outdoor IoT gadgets. Amazon suggest it to use with tracking devices that attach to your children or pets, which don’t require much bandwidth. In fact, next year, Amazon is launching a pet tracker called Ring Fetch that will work on Sidewalk.
The Voice Interoperability Initiative
Amazon envisions a world where you can summon whatever voice assistant you want, Alexa, Cortana and others, on any device. It’s still early and Apple and Google haven’t yet signed on, but it’s a great start to bring some order to the voice assistant ecosystem. Read more about the initiative HERE and see which companies are already participating.
What will Amazon Alexa bring in 2020? Will it finally take over the world as they plan to? 🙂
Well. We’ll see soon enough.
Did you know that you can connect Amazon Alexa assistant into your smart home and use it to command your existing devices? See how great it works with your Loxone , Gira or KNX IP Interface smart home gateway.