Amazon launches new Alexa-enabled hardware
Amazon debuted a range of new Ring, Fire TV and Echo hardware on Thursday, including more environmentally sustainable versions of its audio and video gear. Among the products introduced are a cloud gaming service, a home monitoring drone and new spherical designs for its Echo and Echo dot smart speakers.
Why it matters: Amazon, like rivals Google and Apple, typically gives its consumer hardware a launch ahead of the holidays. Apple has already introduced new iPads, while Google has scheduled a Sept. 30 event, where it is expected to debut new audio and video gear, alongside updated Pixel phones.
So far, Amazon has introduced:
- A $99 spherical Amazon Echo that includes an Amazon-designed machine learning chip.
- The new Echo Dot ($49) and Echo Dot with clock ($59) also features a spherical design.
- A new $59 Echo Dot Kids Edition speaker, which comes in tiger and panda designs, and includes audio content from Audible.
- A re-designed $249 Echo Show 10 smart display with a brighter display that automatically rotates to keep the screen in front of the user.
- New Fire TV sticks, including a lower cost "lite" version for $29 with a simplified remote.
- New Eero 6 routers that support Wi-Fi 6 and also act as a smart home hub using a protocol known as Zigbee.
- Three new Ring car alarms and cameras coming in early 2021 that can alert to a break-in, summon emergency responders in a crash and record video and alert friends if you are pulled over for a traffic stop. The products will range from $59 to $199.
- A $249 camera drone called Ring Always Home coming in 2021 that can autonomously fly around the house and record video.
- A new gaming service called Luna that has a controller that connects directly to the cloud, reducing latency and eliminating the need to pair the controller to each set-top box.
The big picture: Amazon also played up improved privacy controls and the work it is doing to lessen the environmental impact of its new products.
- Amazon is adding a low-power mode for its new devices and offering an update for some existing ones.
- It is also using recycled fabric and aluminum in the new products.
- The company also pledged to create enough clean energy to counterbalance the energy consumed through use of the new products.