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Seattle (CNN) - In an important media event this Wednesday, Amazon presented a wide range of new products and services in its continuous effort to take its virtual assistant, Alexa, to every corner of the home and, now, also to every part of our body.
Among the novelties in its Echo line are a smart watch, a smart oven, high-end speakers, headphones and even glasses. Most items are now available for pre-order, although some, such as glasses, will be sold by invitation only at the moment.
The ads come at a time when the popularity of smart speakers with virtual assistants has skyrocketed. According to data from technology market researcher Canalys, companies such as Amazon, Google and Baidu sold 26.1 million smart speakers in the second quarter of this year. Amazon is at the top of this market and is working to maintain its momentum.
As expected, the company introduced Echo Buds: $ 130 headphones with 5 hours of battery life and 20 hours through a rechargeable case. It uses Bose noise reduction technology, can be turned on with a double tap and gives users access to Siri or Google Assistant, whatever is available on their smartphone. A feature allows users to ask questions like "Where are canned tomatoes?" At a Whole Foods store. The headphones will respond with the aisle where you can find this product.
But the company did not stop at the headphones. In an unexpected move, Amazon showed Echo Frames, a set of glasses with prescription lenses that feature “very discrete directional microphones” that allow only users to listen to Alexa. The glasses weigh around 31 grams, lighter than, for example, Google Glass, and users can touch the frame to turn off the virtual assistant.
For the home, Amazon introduced a high-end Echo speaker, called Echo Studio, which will cost $ 199 and competes with companies such as Sonos that already offer Alexa-compatible premium speakers. He also showed the newest member of his family Echo Show: the Echo Show 8, which is a little smaller than the Echo Show 10 and a little larger than the Echo Show 5. As with an earlier Echo Show, the device $ 130 has a small physical shutter that you can use to cover the front camera.
Because people primarily place these devices in the kitchen, Amazon will launch a Food Network service for the Echo ShowG that allows you to view instructional cooking videos and review them step by step. You can ask Alexa questions like, "Alexa, how many chicken thighs do I need?" And the details will appear on the screen.
A new $ 59 Echo smart alarm clock shows the outside temperature and has the possibility to turn it off by touching the top. A $ 250 smart oven allows users to scan items from the Alexa or Echo Show application to automatically program the oven to cook them properly. And a $ 29 Echo Glow for kids is a small and smart smart speaker that shines.
Other new hardware includes the Echo Flex, a small $ 25 speaker the size of a card package that connects to a power outlet. His goal is to extend Alexa's capabilities to other rooms in the house, such as the garage.
Alexa also received some new bells and whistles, including "frustration detection" that can detect when users begin to lose patience with the voice assistant. He will say "I must have misunderstood" before trying to fix what went wrong. The function will be implemented first for music requests. And for those who are tired of Alexa's voice, Amazon plans to present its first celebrity voice (Samuel L. Jackson) later this year for 99 cents.
Crucially, Amazon is now adding an option to automatically delete voice recordings in an apparent attempt to address recent privacy concerns. Amazon also announced a service for parents that approves contacts with which children can talk through an Echo Dot. And Amazon plans to add new controls for third-party routers, so users can say, "Alexa, turn on the guest WiFI" and "Alexa, pause Ryan's tablet WiFi."
The company is also becoming smarter by helping users proactively, such as when it comes to changing the battery of a smart lock or the printer has low ink. A new feature called Alexa Guard can detect "human activity," which includes steps or sounds of broken glass if there is an intruder.
It is not the first time that Amazon presents a dizzying list of new products. Last September, Amazon introduced Alexa-controlled products that ranged from those expected - more Echo smart speakers - to the surprising thing - a $ 60 AmazonBasics microwave that can heat food using voice commands when used with an Echo device.