Amazon announced everything from new Echos, to security cameras, to Fire TVs, and more at its September 28 devices and services event. The new hardware underscores a commitment to what the company dubs “ambient intelligence:” every interaction should be intuitive, proactive, and personalized to help you enjoy the here and now. What’s the secret sauce that lets Amazon deliver these contextual experiences? Sensors. Many of the products announced today come with sensors designed to help monitor and enhance a person’s environment and experience. Of course, you can adjust the settings to still keep your data private.
Most of the products will be available later this year, with others (ahem, Astro) coming one day. We’ve rounded up everything Amazon announced today.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a new smart speaker from Amazon, but that changed today. Enter the new Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock (not to be confused with all the other Echo Dot products) that have a similar size and design, but can do a whole lot more. These smart speakers have improved audio quality and a temperature sensor that can turn on a smart fan if it senses the room is getting too warm. Added tap gesture controls provide a more responsive experience.
These Dots can even act as a Wi-Fi extender for people using Eero Wi-Fi systems. You don’t have to buy a new Echo Dot for the extender feature. If you have an Echo Dot 4th Gen, there will be an Eero Built-in rollout on October 20. In fact, we did hear a bit about Eero at the event including the introduction of the Eero PoE6, a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 access point, and the Eero PoE Gateway, offering speeds up to 10Gbps.
The company also announced that they’re adding spatial audio to the Echo Studio that should deliver a more immersive sound experience. The smart speaker also comes in a new color: Glacier White for $200. There will be a software roll-out for existing Echo Studio and Echo Show 15 devices in the near future.
Finally, if you want to take an Echo on the road with you, there’s the Echo Auto. This product gives you all the features of the Echo, plus roadside assistance. A way to integrate Alexa into your car if you don’t own an Alexa-friendly BMW.
We were expecting to hear news about Amazon’s Ring and Blink security camera lines. The company didn’t disappoint. There’s a new Ring Spotlight Cam Pro that uses a radar sensor for better motion detection and Ring Spotlight Cam Plus and a Ring Alarm Panic Button (2nd Gen) that can work in conjunction with Astro (you know, if you have one — oh and if you do, we should see some interesting new services thanks to the new SDK).
The company also announced an addition to the affordable Blink family of security cameras, the Blink Wired Floodlight Camera, and a new Blink Mini pan-and-tilt accessory that will give your Blink Mini a little more range.
The third-gen of the Fire TV Cube has a lot of interesting new features. Most notably, it includes an HDMI input and output and can seamlessly convert HD to 4K — a great feature for people who want to get the most out of their 4K TVs.
Speaking of TVs, Amazon also unveiled the stunning Fire TV OMNI QLED series. It also sports presence and ambient sensors that can turn the display on when you enter a room and turn it off when you leave. Turning the display on doesn’t mean the TV; instead, you can see art from around the world, personal photos, and interact with the same widgets on the Echo Show 15. If you already have an Echo Show 15, you can also start to stream Fire TV on it.
What’s a TV without a good remote? What good is a remote if you can’t find it? Amazon has got you covered with its new Alexa Voice Remote Pro. In addition to some new dedicated buttons, it also sports a way to find a missing remote.
Who doesn’t like to read a good book before bedtime? Amazon knows the answer to this better than most. The company unveiled its latest Kindle, which takes reading from a passive activity to an active one. The new Kindle Scribe comes with a pen, turning it into a notepad as well as an e-reader.
When you’re done reading and adding notes to that Kindle Scribe, Amazon wants to help you make the most of your sleep with the Halo Rise. The Halo Rise is a wake-up light, smart alarm (monitoring your sleep stages to wake you up at the right time), and a sleep tracker. This bedside gem does all of this using radar — there are no mics or cameras in the device.
The Echo Dot isn’t just for adults. Amazon rolled out two new characters for the kids: an Owl and a Dragon. They sport the same features as the new Echo Dot mentioned above. Amazon also discussed how it’s expanding on its partnership with Disney and working with the Magic Band that lets you into your room at Disney hotels, go on rides at the park, and interact with your Echo. We should be seeing more integrations on this front in the coming months.
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