Amazon had a lot of new things to show off at its fall hardware event, including new features for Alexa and new hardware products.
For Alexa, Amazon announced that she can now have more natural and conversational interactions, understand and respond to multiple inputs at the same time, and learn your preferences and habits over time to tailor her responses accordingly.
For hardware, Amazon announced new models of the Echo Show, security cameras, Echo Frames, a 10-gigabit router, and more.
Some of the highlights include the Echo Show 8 (3rd-gen), which has a refreshed design and a new feature called Adaptive Content that adjusts the content on the screen based on your proximity to the device. The Echo Frames (3rd-gen) also have a new design, better sound quality, longer battery life, and improved voice recognition.
Overall, Amazon’s fall hardware event was a success, with a number of exciting new announcements.
Alexa with generative AI
Amazon’s new Alexa chat feature and speech-to-speech update are significant steps towards making Alexa a more powerful and versatile personal assistant. The chat feature uses generative AI to make Alexa more conversational and expressive, and the speech-to-speech update will unify the speech recognition, language model, and text-to-speech tasks into a single model, which will create a much richer conversational experience.
Here are some specific examples of how Amazon’s new Alexa chat feature can be used:
- You can have a more natural conversation with Alexa, without having to keep repeating “Alexa” each time you speak.
- Alexa can adjust its tone and “emotion” based on the context of the conversation. For example, if you are having a serious conversation, Alexa will use a more serious tone.
- Alexa can understand and respond to a much wider variety of requests, including complex questions and tasks.
- Alexa can work around your pauses and hesitations for a more free-flowing conversation.
The new speech-to-speech update is still under development, but it has the potential to make Alexa even more powerful and versatile. For example, it could enable Alexa to:
- Translate languages in real time.
- Generate different creative text formats of text content, such as poems, code, scripts, musical pieces, email, letters, etc., based on your requests.
- Answer your questions in a more comprehensive and informative way, even if they are open ended, challenging, or strange.
- Write different kinds of creative content, like poems, code, scripts, musical pieces, email, letters, etc.
Overall, Amazon’s new Alexa chat feature and speech-to-speech update are exciting developments that have the potential to make Alexa a more powerful and versatile personal assistant.
Echo Show 8
Amazon has launched a new Echo Show 8 with a number of upgrades, including:
- Proximity sensing: The new Echo Show 8 can adjust its UI depending on how close you are to it. For example, the text on the screen will get larger as you move away from the device.
- Spatial audio: The new Echo Show 8 has spatial audio capabilities for a more immersive sound experience.
- Centered camera: The new Echo Show 8 has a centered camera, which should make video calls feel more natural.
- Upgraded audio: The new Echo Show 8 has upgraded audio that minimizes background noise.
- Faster processor: The new Echo Show 8 has a faster processor, which should improve performance.
- Built-in smart home hub: The new Echo Show 8 has a built-in smart home hub, so you can use it to control your smart home devices without having to use a separate hub.
The new Echo Show 8 costs $150 and is available for pre-order now ahead of an expected October ship date.
Overall, the new Echo Show 8 is a significant upgrade over the previous generation, with a number of new features that make it more useful and versatile.
Amazon has updated its Echo Frames smart glasses for the first time in over two years, with a number of improvements, including:
- Longer battery life: The new Echo Frames have a battery life of up to six hours of continuous media playback, which is a significant improvement over the previous generation.
- Slimmer design: The new Echo Frames are 15% slimmer than the previous generation, making them look more like regular glasses.
- Redesigned audio experience: The new Echo Frames have a redesigned audio experience with more balanced sound, better audio clarity, and less distortion.
- Improved speech processing: The new Echo Frames have improved speech processing, which could lead to more reliable responses in different environments.
- More styles: The new Echo Frames will be available in seven new styles, including both glasses and sunglasses variants. There is also a more expensive version through a partnership with Carrera called Carrera Smart Glasses.
The Echo Frames cost $270, while the Carrera Smart Glasses variant will cost $390. They are available for pre-order now.
Overall, the new Echo Frames are a significant upgrade over the previous generation, with a number of improvements that make them more useful and stylish.
Here are some specific examples of how the new Echo Frames can be used:
- You can listen to music, podcasts, and audiobooks hands-free.
- You can make and receive calls hands-free.
- You can get directions hands-free.
- You can control your smart home devices hands-free.
- You can get notifications from your phone on the glasses.
The new Echo Frames are a good option for people who want to stay connected and entertained on the go without having to carry their phone.
Eero Max 7
Amazon’s new Eero Max 7 is a high-end router that is designed to provide fast and reliable Wi-Fi coverage for large homes and businesses. It has a number of features that make it stand out from other routers, including:
- 10-gigabit Ethernet connections: The Eero Max 7 has two 10-gigabit Ethernet ports, which makes it ideal for connecting to high-speed internet connections.
- Fast Wi-Fi speeds: The Eero Max 7 supports the 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz radio bands, and can deliver speeds of up to 4.3Gbps for wireless connections.
- Mesh network support: The Eero Max 7 can be linked together to create a mesh network, which can provide even better coverage and performance.
- Wide coverage area: The Eero Max 7 can cover up to 2,500 square feet of wireless coverage.
The Eero Max 7 is a good option for people who need a fast and reliable router for their large homes or businesses. It is also a good option for people who want to create a mesh network to get even better coverage and performance.
Here are some specific examples of how the Eero Max 7 can be used:
- You can stream 4K video and play online games without lag.
- You can connect multiple devices to the internet without experiencing any slowdown.
- You can get good Wi-Fi coverage in all areas of your home or business.
- You can easily add more routers to your mesh network to extend your coverage even further.
The Eero Max 7 is a good choice for people who want the best possible Wi-Fi performance.
The Amazon Echo Hub is a smart home control center that is designed to be easy to use and affordable. It has a number of features that make it stand out from other smart home control centers, including:
- Large display: The Echo Hub has an 8-inch display, which is large enough to see and control all of your smart home devices easily. This is especially helpful for people with visual impairments or older adults.
- Wall-mountable: The Echo Hub can be mounted on the wall, which makes it easy to place in a convenient location in your home. This can be helpful for people who have limited counter space or who want to keep their smart home control center out of the reach of children or pets.
- Supports major smart home protocols: The Echo Hub supports the major smart home protocols, including Matter and Thread, which means that it can be used to control a wide range of smart home devices from different brands. This makes it a good choice for people who have a variety of smart home devices and don’t want to have to deal with multiple control hubs.
- Fast response times: The Echo Hub can control select smart home devices locally, which leads to faster response times. This is because the Echo Hub does not have to communicate with a cloud server to control these devices. This can be important for time-sensitive tasks, such as arming your security system or turning on the lights when you come home.
- Affordable price: The Echo Hub is priced at $180, which is an affordable price for a smart home control center with its features. This makes it a good option for people who are on a budget or who are new to smart home automation.
Overall, the Echo Hub is a good option for people who want an easy-to-use and affordable smart home control center. It is especially well-suited for people who have a variety of smart home devices from different brands and who want fast response times.
Here are some additional benefits of the Echo Hub:
- The Echo Hub can be used to create a centralized view of all of your smart home devices. This can be helpful for managing your smart home devices and for troubleshooting any problems.
- The Echo Hub can be used to control your smart home devices with your voice, using Alexa. This can be helpful for people with disabilities or who simply prefer to use hands-free controls.
- The Echo Hub can be used to create routines and automations for your smart home devices. This can help you to save time and energy, and to make your home more convenient and comfortable.
For example, you could create a routine that turns on your lights, plays your favorite music, and adjusts the temperature in your home when you come home from work. Or you could create an automation that turns off your lights and locks your doors when you go to bed.
The Echo Hub is a powerful and versatile smart home control center that can be used to make your life easier and more convenient.
Ring and Blink security cameras
The Amazon Ring Stick Up Cam Pro is a new indoor/outdoor security camera with a number of advanced features, including:
- 3D motion detection: The Stick Up Cam Pro uses radar technology to track people’s paths across the camera’s field of view. This allows it to provide more refined and accurate motion alerts.
- Intelligent tracking: The Stick Up Cam Pro can follow people as they move across its field of view. This makes it easier to see what is happening and to identify potential intruders.
- Two-way talk: The Stick Up Cam Pro has a built-in microphone and speaker, so you can talk to people who are near the camera. This can be used to deter intruders or to simply communicate with visitors.
- 1080p HD video: The Stick Up Cam Pro records video in 1080p HD resolution. This provides clear and detailed images, even at night.
- Weatherproof design: The Stick Up Cam Pro is weatherproof, so it can be used indoors or outdoors.
The Ring Stick Up Cam Pro is a good option for people who want a versatile and powerful security camera. It is especially well-suited for people who want a camera with intelligent tracking and 3D motion detection.
Here are some examples of how the Ring Stick Up Cam Pro can be used:
- You can use it to monitor your front porch or driveway for intruders.
- You can use it to monitor your backyard for children or pets.
- You can use it to monitor your business or office for break-ins.
- You can use it to monitor your vacation home while you are away.
The Ring Stick Up Cam Pro is a good choice for people who want to protect their home or business from intruders and other threats. It is a versatile and powerful camera that can be used in a variety of settings.
Amazon Blink accessories
Amazon also announced a number of new accessories for its Blink security cameras, including:
- Sync Module Pro: The Sync Module Pro extends the range of the Blink Outdoor 4 camera. This is helpful for people who have large properties or who need to place their cameras in remote locations.
- Wireless floodlight mount: The wireless floodlight mount is a new mount for the Blink Outdoor 4 camera that includes a motion-triggered floodlight. This is helpful for people who want to add extra light to their yard or who want to deter intruders.
- Battery extender: The battery extender is a new accessory for the Blink Outdoor 4 camera that can extend its battery life to up to four years. This is helpful for people who want to avoid having to replace their camera’s batteries frequently.
These new accessories make the Blink security cameras even more versatile and powerful. The Sync Module Pro, wireless floodlight mount, and battery extender are all good options for people who want to improve the performance and functionality of their Blink security cameras.
Fire TV updates
Amazon has announced a number of new Fire TV devices and features, including:
- Fire TV Soundbar: A new Bluetooth-enabled soundbar compatible with all Fire TV streaming products and TVs, available for $120.
- Fire TV 4K Max: An incremental update to the Fire TV 4K Max, with a bumped-up processor and Wi-Fi 6E support. Available for pre-order for $60, shipping on September 27.
- Fire TV Stick: An update to the standard 4K Fire TV Stick with more processing power, 4K support, and Wi-Fi 6.
- Fire TV Ambient Experience: A new feature that makes it easy to view info like your family calendar, reminders, and local forecast on your Fire TV device, even in standby mode. It also includes a new selection of “gallery-quality” art for TVs in standby mode.
- Fire TV Search: A new search experience that uses Amazon’s LLMs to make on-device search more natural and conversational.
- Unified Continue Watching row: A new row in the Fire TV interface that aggregates favorite content from providers like Prime Video, Disney+, Max, Peacock, and more, in one spot. It focuses on recency, making it easier to resume the last thing you checked out, regardless of the service.
These new devices and features offer a number of benefits for Fire TV users, including:
- Improved performance and responsiveness: The new Fire TV devices have more processing power and better Wi-Fi support, which means they can deliver faster and more reliable streaming.
- Enhanced audio experience: The new Fire TV Soundbar offers affordable and high-quality audio for Fire TV users.
- More personalized and convenient experience: The new Fire TV Ambient Experience and unified Continue Watching row make it easier to find and watch the content you love.
- More natural and conversational search experience: The new Fire TV Search makes it easier to find the content you’re looking for, even if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for.
Overall, Amazon’s new Fire TV devices and features offer a number of improvements that make the Fire TV platform even more attractive to users.
Amazon’s new accessibility features for Echo devices are a welcome addition for people with disabilities. Eye Gaze on Alexa allows people with mobility or speech disabilities to use their eyes to control Alexa, while Call Translation allows people to communicate with people who speak other languages during Alexa calls.
Here are some specific examples of how people can use these new features:
- A person with quadriplegia can use Eye Gaze on Alexa to turn on and off their smart home lights, play music, or make calls to friends and family.
- A person who is deaf or hard of hearing can use Call Translation to have conversations with people who speak other languages, such as when traveling or talking to relatives who live abroad.
These new features make Echo devices more accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities. They also make it easier for people to communicate with each other, regardless of their language or abilities.
I am excited to see how these new features are used by people with disabilities and how they improve their lives. I believe that technology should be accessible to everyone, and I am glad that Amazon is taking steps to make its products more inclusive.
Amazon’s new Map View feature is a great way to manage smart home devices more easily. It allows you to create an indoor map of your home and view and control all of your smart home devices in one place. This can be helpful for people who have a lot of smart home devices or who want a more visual way to manage their devices.
Here are some specific examples of how people can use Map View:
- A person with a large home can use Map View to quickly see which lights are on and off, which doors are locked and unlocked, and which cameras are recording.
- A person with a family can use Map View to create different zones for their home, such as a “sleep zone” where all of the lights are turned off and the doors are locked at night.
- A person with a pet can use Map View to check on their pet’s camera while they are away from home.
Map View is a great way to make smart home devices more convenient and accessible. It is especially helpful for people who have a lot of smart home devices or who want a more visual way to manage their devices.
I am excited to see how Map View is used by people to manage their smart home devices. I believe that it has the potential to make smart home devices more accessible and user-friendly.
Amazon is extending Alexa’s new generative AI capabilities to kids’ devices, with a number of safeguards in place to protect children from unsavory material. The company says that the new feature will “gracefully redirect kids back to the conversation at hand and away from inappropriate or sensitive content.”
Here are some specific examples of how the new generative AI feature could be used on kids’ devices:
- A child could ask Alexa to tell them a story about their favorite superhero, and Alexa could use its generative AI capabilities to create a new story every time.
- A child could ask Alexa to help them with their homework, and Alexa could use its generative AI capabilities to provide them with personalized help and support.
- A child could ask Alexa to play a game with them, and Alexa could use its generative AI capabilities to create new and exciting games for them to play.
The new generative AI feature has the potential to make kids’ devices more engaging and educational. However, it is important to note that the company is taking steps to protect children from unsavory material.
Amazon also announced the new Echo Pop Kids, a smart speaker for children that comes in two variants: Avengers and Disney Princess. The Echo Pop Kids costs $50 and comes with six months of the Amazon Kids+ subscription service.
The Echo Pop Kids is a good option for parents who want a smart speaker for their children that is safe and educational. It is also a good option for parents who want to subscribe to the Amazon Kids+ service.
I am excited to see how the new generative AI feature and the Echo Pop Kids are used by children. I believe that they have the potential to make learning and playing more fun and engaging for children.
Alexa Emergency Assist
Alexa Emergency Assist is a new feature that can benefit seniors, people with disabilities, and anyone else who wants to have easy access to first responders in an emergency. It works by connecting you with a “dedicated, professionally trained agent” available 24/7 when you say, “Alexa, call for help.”
The feature can be especially helpful for seniors and people with disabilities who may have difficulty calling 911 on their own. It can also be helpful for people who live in remote areas or who have poor cell service.
When you set up Alexa Emergency Assist, you will need to provide your home address, medications, allergies, and device information. This information will be saved so that you do not have to repeat it to the agent when you call for help.
Alexa Emergency Assist will launch in the US soon and will cost $6 per month or $59 annually. This is a relatively small price to pay for the peace of mind of knowing that you can easily contact first responders in an emergency.
Here are some specific examples of how Alexa Emergency Assist can be used:
- A senior who falls and cannot get up can say, “Alexa, call for help,” and Alexa will connect them with an agent who can dispatch emergency services.
- A person with a disability who has a medical emergency can say, “Alexa, call for help,” and Alexa will connect them with an agent who can get the help they need.
- A person who is lost in the woods and has no cell service can say, “Alexa, call for help,” and Alexa will connect them with an agent who can help them find their way back to safety.
Alexa Emergency Assist is a valuable new feature that can make a big difference in the lives of people who need it. It is a good option for anyone who wants to have easy access to first responders in an emergency.