Updated Sep 28, 2022 - Technology

Amazon launches a Kindle you can write on

headshot
A man writes notes on a Kindle Scribe

Image: Amazon

Amazon used its fall hardware launch on Wednesday to introduce Kindle Scribe, a large-screen e-reader that can also be written on using a stylus.

Why it matters: This is the most significant update to Amazon's Kindle line in years, expanding its use beyond reading books.

Details: The Kindle Scribe will be available this holiday season for $340, including a stylus. It has a 10.2-inch display.

  • The move puts Amazon in competition with writable tablets from Remarkable, which says it has sold 1 million devices to date.

Separately, Amazon announced a variety of new products, updates and partnerships.

  • The $139 Halo Rise, coming later this year, is a nightstand device that can track sleep without requiring a person to wear sensors on their body.
  • The Echo Dot and Echo Studio speakers also got updated with improved audio. The new Echo Dot devices can act as extenders for Amazon's Eero mesh WiFi routers.
  • There's a new kid-friendly Echo Dot model, too, as well as a feature that lets children collaborate with Alexa to write stories.
  • BMW plans to use Alexa to power its next-generation in-car voice assistant.
  • On the Ring front, Amazon debuted a handful of updates, including a new higher-end $230 Ring Spotlight Cam Pro, which adds radar detection to the traditional security camera.
  • Eero home networks will gain the ability to set a backup internet connection method, such as a cellular connection, that can automatically provide access if there is a broadband outage. The feature will be a software update for existing devices, but requires an Eero Pro subscription.
  • Amazon's new $35 Alexa Voice Remote Pro, available in November, lets you use the voice assistant to find the remote when it is lost, while an updated $140 Fire TV Cube offers more input options and will be available next month.
  • The company also announced a new high-end TV line with Fire TV build-in, starting at $799.

Amazon's Astro Robot, introduced last year, is getting several updates.

  • Among its new abilities are the ability to learn which doors and windows should be open or shut based on human instruction.
  • The rolling robot will also be able to detect pets and capture a short video of the cat or dog in action.
  • A software development kit will allow others to customize Astro, starting with students at three schools.

The big picture: Amazon says it is shaping most of its device work around the concept of "ambient intelligence." Hardware chief Dave Limp contrasted Amazon's focus with that of other companies (such as Facebook parent Meta) that are focused on virtual reality.

  • “Technology needs to be personalized and intuitive enough to adapt to you and your environment — not the other way around,” Limp said. “We call this ambient intelligence.”
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