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Amazon Announces a Smart Home Tsunami

Posted September 20, 2018 | Amazon Alexa | Amazon Echo | Amazon Fire TV | smart home | Windows

New Echo Dot

Today, Amazon revealed that it is dramatically increasing the number of Alexa-powered smart home devices it sells.

“We’ve been thinking about how to make Alexa more natural,” Amazon’s David Limp said at the announcement, joking that the firm would announce “seventy new things.”

That wasn’t far off, as it turns out.

Here’s what Amazon announced.

Echo Dot. The second-generation Echo Dot is big for Amazon because this device has been what Amazon calls its “best-selling [smart] speaker ever.” And it is indeed much more attractive, with a nice fabric cover and an improved speaker. And it is available in multiple colors, too. It will still cost $50 when it arrives in October.

Echo Input

Echo Input. Amazon’s answer to the Google Chromecast Audio is a small disc-shaped device that you can attach to any powered speakers. It will cost $35 and will ship next month.

Echo Sub (with Echo Plus)

Echo Sub. This 10-inch subwoofer can work with any Echo speakers and can create a 2.1-speaker system that pairs two other Echos with the Sub. It provides deep bass sound, as you’d expect, and features the same fabric covering found on the new Dot. It will cost $130.

Echo Link and Echo Amp Link. These two receivers (one with its own amplifier) provide multiple audio inputs and outputs, plus Ethernet. Echo Link will ship later this year and cost $200. And Echo Link Amp will ship early next year and cost $300.

New Echo Plus

Echo Plus. This new Echo device includes a smart home hub, the new fabric design, better bass and overall sound, and a new temperature sensor. It will cost $150 and ship next month.

Amazon Smart Plug

Amazon Smart Plug. This $25 device plugs into a power receptacle and … is a smart plug. You get the idea. It ships next month.

Amazon Basics Microwave

Amazon Basics Microwave. This table-top microwave is Alexa-powered and supports voice commands, and it has built-in Dash replenishment capabilities (for food, presumably). It will cost only $60 and will ship later this year.

Echo Wall Clock

Echo Wall Clock. This analog clock also includes LED lights around the rim so that you can visually see Alexa-based timers (from other devices) counting down. It will cost $30.

Ring Stick Up Cam. This new entry in the Ring family of security devices comes in both wired and battery-powered versions and adds access control for compatible Schlage, Yale, Kwikset, and Danalock locks. It will cost $180 and ship later this year. (Amazon purchased Ring earlier this year.)

New Echo Show

Echo Show. The second-generation Echo Show is a bit more attractive than its angular predecessor. It features a bigger 10-inch display and includes vastly improved sound and a fabric-covered back. And it will include Skype compatibility for video calls (!). It will cost $230.

Fire TV Recast

Fire TV Recast. This new living room set-top box will stream HD antenna-based TV shows to any Fire TV in your home. It can record up to four shows and stream to multiple Fire TVs at once.

Echo Auto

Echo Auto. Amazon’s first automobile smart device is basically a smart speaker (not a display) for the car. It has 8 microphones and will cost $50 normally, but Amazon is now offering a $25 “invite price” for early adopters who sign-up this year.

And … wow. Lot’s to discuss here, and that’s just the hardware. Amazon also announced tons of improvements to its software and services, too. So I’ll have a deeper analysis piece by tomorrow.


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