In a kind of marathon presentation, Amazon has unveiled its product portfolio for the Christmas business at its Seattle headquarters. Hardware boss Dave Limp showed on stage several new features and more than a dozen new gadgets. All work together with the artificial intelligence Alexa.
Limp showed that he is aware that language assistants like Alexa are viewed critically by many users after reports circulated about how human voice input is evaluated. Especially unintentionally recorded conversations by the devices led to outrage.
In the future one should be able to get information from Alexa about what she has recorded last or why she has carried out an action. These are the commands "Alexa, what did you hear?" and "Alexa, why did you do that?" introduced. To streamline the interaction with Alexa, you can also increase or decrease the speech speed of the AI.
Limp also offered the opportunity to let Alexa speak with the voice of celebrities. The beginning will be the voice of Samuel L. Jackson, which you can book for a fee. For the time being, however, this possibility will probably only exist in the USA.
In addition to such Alexa upgrades, the event was primarily about new hardware products, each working with Alexa:
With its first completely wireless headphones, Amazon obviously wants to compete with Apple's successful AirPods. Limp promises to produce "deep bass and a crisp sound". To avoid disturbing external noise, Amazon has licensed Bose technology. It's the first time Bose has made such a deal. It should be noted that it is only a noise reduction technology and not Bose's noise cancellation technology.
Of course you can call Alexa with the earbuds, but at the touch of a button Siri and the Google Assistant can also be activated. At $ 130, the headphones are comparatively cheap. So far, however, the earbuds can only be pre-ordered in the USA.
Amazon executive promotes the company's new Echo Buds ... while wearing AirPods https://t.co/ria9mJDbam by @ChanceHMiller pic.twitter.com/s0ENVxdP3p- 9to5Mac.com (@ 9to5mac) September 25, 2019
An appearance of Dave Limp at the US TV station Bloomberg, in which he has an AirPod from Apple in the ear, was also suspected sprout, the earbuds are not ready yet. More likely, however, is that Bloomberg has pressed the Apple plug into his ear, so he can hear the questions from the TV studio.
Even with the Echo Studio, Amazon Apple will make life difficult. The powered with five speakers and multiple microphones Aktivbox to produce a three-dimensional surround sound thanks to Dolby Atmos technology. The sound is automatically adapted to the room. So the box should sound good everywhere, no matter if in the kitchen or the living room. According to Amazon, one or two Echo Studio "can pair with selected Fire TV models" to play music or video sound. Again, the price is set aggressively low at 200 euros.
The new echo
The normal echo Amazon has only slightly revised. A new speaker should lead to "the bass feels stronger, but the mids and heights are clearer". He also comes in new colors. The price remains at 100 euros.
Echo Dot with clock
The smallest ever Amazon speaker, the Echo Dot, gets a time display in the new version. You can use it as a voice-controlled alarm clock, and you can also see the outside temperature there. You could call that a minimal display. The price: 70 euros.
The now smallest echo speaker is the Echo Flex. It is not meant for listening to music, but to bring Alexa into rooms in which one does not want to have a full echo or for which a great echo is too expensive, for example the boiler room or the bathroom. The Flex is plugged directly into a power outlet and has a USB port, for example, to charge a cell phone. About the same socket can be plugged as an accessory available modules, such as a motion sensor and a night light. In Germany, the Flex should cost 30 euros.
Echo Show 8
In addition to the previous echo show models, Amazon now also offers a model with 8-inch display, the only difference to the other current echo show models, the screen size is apparently. It is sold for 130 euros.
Echo Loop and Echo Frames
Under the title "Day 1 Editions" Amazon wants to sell novel smart gadgets in limited edition to interested customers to let these devices tested in everyday life, so to speak. If these tests are successful, you want to go into mass production. It starts with the Echo Loop and the Echo Frames.
The loop is a kind of smart ring. Similar devices have been shown many times at high-tech trade shows like the CES, but have never been sold in significant quantities. At Amazon, of course, the ring also serves to talk about built-in microphones with Alexa or even make phone calls. The fact that you always have to hold the ring finger in front of your face, might prevent some users from buying the 130-dollar gadget.
Less echoing is the effect of the Echo Frames, a very discreetly designed pair of glasses with built-in microphones and speakers, which can also be used to talk to Alexa and make phone calls. After the purchase, so Amazon advises, one should go with the glasses to his optician to fit appropriate glasses, including with eyesight, and to adjust the fit of the glasses. Unusual for Amazon: The frames only works with Android smartphones. The price: 180 dollars.
With the Glow Amazon brings in the US a smart lamp on the market, which is to serve by voice control, for example, as slowly darkening Einschlaflicht. After the next update, she should get a party mode in which she acts as a light organ. If you like it more comfortable, you should also be able to use the device as a campfire simulator. The price: 30 dollars.
After the microwave with Alexa Amazon brings now the Alexa oven on the market. A voice command is used to warm food, prepare it, fry it and heat it using microwave technology. For ready-made meals, a scan-to-cook function is offered, in which the barcode of a frozen meal is scanned and the oven automatically sets the appropriate parameters for warming up. In the US - and only there - the Alexa oven costs $ 250.
Eero and Eero Pro
From the beginning of November, Amazon also wants to offer the mesh wifi routers of its subsidiary Eero in Germany, and thus also compete with systems such as Netgear's Orbi and Google Wifi. The system should make the installation of a mesh WLAN very easy and secure by encrypting the communication.
The standard version costs 109 euros for a single device and 279 euros for a triple pack. The more powerful Pro variant is to cost 199 euros as a single purchase and 499 euros in a triple pack.
Ring Indoor Cam and Stick Up Cam
The Amazon subsidiary Ring was also mentioned at the Amazon event. From now on, two new surveillance cameras with Alexa connection are available. The 59-euro indoor cam is to be placed indoors and monitored by motion detectors rooms.
The so-called stick up cam can be mounted both inside and outside and has a similar range of functions. However, it can be operated either at the socket, by battery or via a solar panel. The prices are between 99 and 149 euros.