Amazon has introduced its line-up of new Echo devices, featuring new designs, enhanced audio, more powerful hardware, and a new screen for Alexa that moves with the user. To learn about all of the products, features, and services that Amazon announced, visit: https://blog.aboutamazon.com/.
“These are the best Echo devices we have ever made,” Tom Taylor, Senior Vice President, Amazon Alexa claimed in a press release.
New Spherical Design, Dolby Stereo Sound, Built-in Zigbee Hub, and Sidewalk Bridge
The next-generation Echo combines the Echo and Echo Plus into a single device with a 3.0-inch woofer, dual-firing tweeters, and Dolby stereo processing. As with Echo Studio, the new Echo automatically senses the acoustics of your space and fine-tunes audio playback.
For the first time, Echo comes with a built-in smart home hub, with support for Zigbee, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and Amazon Sidewalk. Amazon Sidewalk can help ease setup, extend the working range of devices like Ring Smart Lighting that may be beyond the range of WiFi, and offer new support for devices like Tile to locate misplaced items.
The new Echo is powered by Amazon’s own silicon–the first-generation AZ1 Neural Edge processor.
The new processor comes out of a collaboration with semiconductor maker MediaTek Inc., Amazon executives claim it will enable the Echo to answer user questions faster by processing voice commands locally–a speedup of hundreds of milliseconds per response, which is noticeable by users. Earlier smart speakers had to send voice commands to the cloud for processing and then wait until the results came back, which delayed Alexa responses.
In practice, the local processing also opens the door to offline capabilities..
Echo Dot & Echo Dot with clock
The new Echo Dot has the same spherical design and fabric finish as Echo. It’s compact, with 1.6-inch, front-firing speaker. The Echo Dot with clock comes with the same enhancements as the Echo Dot, plus a simple LED display for time, temperature, timers, and alarms. And now, the tap-to-snooze feature.
Echo Dot Kids Edition
The Echo Dot Kids Edition builds on the new spherical design with fun, colorful Panda and Tiger prints. Alexa’s custom-built kids experience means kids can ask Alexa questions, set animal sound alarms, get help with homework, and call approved friends and family, with extensive parental controls. Parents will also be able to create Alexa voice profiles for their kids, so Alexa automatically shifts to a kid’s profile when she recognizes a kid’s voice—extending the kids experience, and parental controls, to any Echo device in the house. Kids can also enjoy a new Alexa feature called Reading Sidekick. Alexa can help kids build fluency and foster a love for reading—simply say, “Alexa, let’s read,” and Alexa will take turns reading with your child, providing encouragement and support.
Echo Show 10—Designed to Move with You
The Echo Show 10 is Alexa with a 10-inch, adaptive HD display that automatically stays in view when you interact with Alexa—no matter where you are in the room. The new brushless motor is designed to be completely silent in the process.
Ask Alexa to make a video call without worrying about being out of frame—as you move, the screen does too, and the new 13-megapixel, wide-angle camera pans and zooms to keep the speaker at the center of the frame. New Alexa Group Calling enables a group of up to eight to say “Alexa, call my family.” Later this year, Echo Show devices will also support Zoom and Amazon Chime video conferencing. Say, “Alexa, join my Zoom meeting,” or “Alexa, start my Chime meeting,” to join a video call.
As Echo Show 10 moves, so does its dual, front-firing tweeters and woofer, for directional sound that automatically adapts to the space. Coming soon, Amazon promises support for Netflix simply by asking Alexa, with the ability to search, browse, and stream the entire catalog, using just your voice.
When Alexa Guard is in Away Mode, Echo Show 10 can periodically pan the room and will send you a Smart Alert if it detects someone in its field of view. You can also securely access a live feed from another Echo Show device or the Alexa app, with the ability to remotely zoom or pan the display and camera to see the entire room; or set up a Routine that automatically turns on the lights when someone enters the room. Built-in smart home capabilities include support for Zigbee, BLE, and Amazon Sidewalk for devices that stay connected and work great inside and outside your home.
For privacy, the devices uses a fusion of audio-based localization and computer vision—all processed locally and securely on-device. Users can turn motion off at any time by sliding the built-in camera shutter closed, adjusting settings on-device or in the Alexa app, or just by saying, “Alexa, turn off motion.” Learn more about how Amazon invented the Echo Show 10 experience: www.amazon.science.
Climate Pledge Friendly
All new Echo devices have the Climate Pledge Friendly badge and are built with 100% post-consumer recycled fabric, 100% recycled die-cast aluminum, and post-consumer recycled plastic. Plus, all wood fiber-based materials used in Echo device packaging are made entirely from responsibly managed forests or recycled sources. In addition to using sustainable materials, these Echo devices also have a Low Power Mode to intelligently conserve energy during periods of inactivity and deliver energy savings over the lifetime of the device. Later this year, Alexa will help users see the energy consumed by compatible smart home devices through a new personalized energy dashboard in the Alexa app.
Pricing and Availability
Echo ($99.99) and Echo Dot ($49.99) will be available in Charcoal, Glacier White, and Twilight Blue. Echo Dot with clock ($59.99) will be available in Glacier White and Twilight Blue. Echo Dot Kids Edition ($59.99) will be available in Panda and Tiger animal designs.
The Echo Show 10 ($249.99) will be available in Charcoal and Glacier White, and will start shipping in time for the holidays. You can sign up to be notified when the Echo Show 10 is available at www.amazon.com/echoshow10. All new features announced today will be available by the end of the year.