Amazon’s mum on the subject so far, but an internal document shows plans for at least eight new Alexa voice-controlled devices for your home and your car to be announced by the end of 2018 and possibly by the end of the month, CNBC reported.
Look for a combination of existing Alexa devices that you can control via your voice, like the Echo Show or Echo Dot, and others that are new products with Alexa built-in.
Among the new Alexa hardware reported to be rolled out are a microwave oven, an undefined add-on automotive accessory, and sound equipment, including an amplifier, a receiver, and a subwoofer.
A microwave oven with Alexa inside could signify Amazon’s willingness to enter the smart kitchen via appliances, which is a new venture for them. With Alexa-responsive speakers throughout the house, an Alexa receiver could then distribute audio content at your vocal suggestion.
Alexa already has a nifty bag of voice tricks. If you have multiple Alexa devices in your house, for example, say a combination of an Echo and several Dots, the closest device responds to your spoken commands. Other features let you broadcast your voice to all speakers in the house. Alexa can also differentiate voices to recognize different people speaking. Amazon has been adding voice features and new capabilities as it builds a whole-house voice control infrastructure.
Adding Alexa to in-vehicle systems or as add-on devices opens the possibility of speaking to the same voice assistant when you travel just like at home. If you and Alexa already have a voice-command relationship at home, the familiar voice and flexible syntax requirements can make the transition easier, which means people will be more likely to use the system.
Some of the rumored products to be released will compete head-to-head with brand names that have already added Alexa compatibility, like Sonos’ audio components, GE Appliances’ smart microwave, and Garmin’s works-with-Alexa dash cam.
Amazon may also be planning to acquire additional smart home brands that work with Alexa, as it did when it bought Ring, the smart doorbell and security camera company. It’s possible that Ring could announce new products by the end of 2018 as well.