Amazon hosted a massive hardware event this week, announcing a cavalcade of new Alexa-enabled and IoT devices. Make no mistake: Amazon wants to find a way into your home or pocket one way or another. But there’s a lot to be excited about too, especially as Amazon‘s pricing often undercuts similar competition.
Let’s get right to it then, starting with the myriad of Alexa-compatible devices in the Echo family.
The Echo Studio is Amazon‘s challenger to the likes of Sonos and Apple’s HomePod. We wrote about it at length here, but it promises serious audio chops and is the first smart speaker to support 3D audio, including Dolby Atmos.
When: Pre-order here, launches November 7.
As long-rumored, Amazon is finally getting into the true-wireless headphone game. They promise high-end sound quality with dual balanced armature drivers, and Amazon made the smart choice of licensing Bose noise-reduction technology. An ambient sound mode is also available for awareness of your surroundings, and the Buds are sweat-resistant.
Battery life is rated at five hours per session, with three more charges provided by the case, for a total of 20 hours. As a pleasant surprise, Amazon doesn’t limit you to Alexa; Google Assistant and Siri will work too. They look seriously compelling at a price of just $130. Read more here.
When: Pre-order here, launches October 30.
Yup, Amazon is making smart glasses, but no, they don’t beam holographic images to your eyes; this is an audio-only affair. That’s why they’re relatively svelte compared to AR glasses and can promise “all-day” battery life.
They basically work like an audio smartwatch, reading your notifications out loud and allowing you to ask Alexa questions. They even support optional access to the Google Assistant. But the microphones can also be turned off when you want some extra privacy. Read more here.
When: Part of Amazon‘s new ‘Day 1 Edition’ pilot program. Available only via invitation, which you can request here.
Another Day 1 Edition product, the Echo Loop also works like something of a tiny audio-only smartwatch. Click the action button and you can ask Alexa for the weather or information on your dinner reservations. You can even make short phone calls from the thing by holding your hand up to your ear, which both sounds awkward and, admittedly, pretty futuristic.
As is a common theme in Amazon‘s new wearables, the Echo Loop also supports Siri or the Google Assistant. Read more here.
When: Also only via invite; sign up here.
Echo Dot 3rd Gen (AKA Echo Dot Clock)
It turns out a lot of people ask their Echo Dot’s for the time, so Amazon figured, why not just put a clock on it? The Display can also be set to tell show alarms, timers, or the temperature.
When: Pre-order here, ships October 16.
As with most home gadgets, smart speakers need to be plugged in, running a wire over your beautiful furniture. Boo. The solution? Have a smart speaker that plugs directly into the socket. The Echo Flex works basically the same as any other Echo, but at a super-cheap $30 buck price (and probably not-great sound quality). It comes with a built-in USB-port too, so that’s nice.
When: Pre-order here, ships November 14.
Ooooh, shiny. It’s a bit odd this gadget falls under the Echo family, given there’s no microphone or speaker on board. Instead, you can control it via another Alexa-toting device, setting different colors for reminders, or making the light dance along to your music. There’s even a ‘Rainbow Timer’ to help kids stay on track with bedtime, errands, and more. Allegedly
When: Pre-order now, ships November 20.
Echo Show 8
It’s a bigger Echo Show! It has a chunk 8-inch screen, which, you know, is bigger than 5-inches.
When: Pre-order here, ships November 21.
Echo Speaker Gen 3
The latest Echo has better sound “powered by Dolby,” though it’s not an Atmos speaker like the Studio because duh.
When: Pre-order here, available October 16.
Okay, that’s enough Echo devices. Amazon had some other gadgets too:
Amazon Smart Oven
First Amazon had an Alexa-powered microwave. Now Amazon has an Alexa-powered microwave-air-fryer-convection oven combo. No microphones on-board, but it can be controlled by your other voice devices. You can even scan your packaged foods with Alexa and the oven will set the appropriate time. Jack Donaghy would be proud.
When: Pre-order here, available November 14.
Amazon announced a new low-power, long-distance wireless protocol called ‘Sidewalk’. Operating on the 900 MHz spectrum it’s meant for low-speed transmissions for things like IoT devices, reaching up to while away. The Ring Fetch is one of the first devices to use the technology. It’s basically a tracking device that lets you make sure your pup is still within a specified radius.
When: Sometime next year
Amazon announced the first new Eero since it bought the company. Unsurprisingly, it comes with deeper Alexa integration. The mesh router allows you to link multiple routers to ensure strong coverage throughout your home, and Amazon is promising setup will take less than 10 minutes.
Price: $99 for one, or $249 for three
When: Available now
Ring Stick Up Cam
Ring’s new Stick Up Cam is basically the same as last year’s model, featuring 1080P streams and motion detection. Also comes in a battery-powered version. The difference? It’s cheaper.
When: Pre-order today, available October 23
Ring Stick Up Cam Elite
Same as above, but with Ethernet for a rock-solid connection.
Ring Indoor Cam
Like the Stick Up Cam, but smaller, cheaper, and without weather-proofing. It also needs to be plugged into a socket and doesn’t come in a battery-powered version.
Ring Retrofit Alarm Kit
Lets you plug your old alarm system into Ring’s network. The best of both worlds
Phew. Got all that? For more on the new devices, check out Amazon’s Alexa hub page here.
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