Robots Amazon is about to reveal what’s next for Alexa and the Echo at its biggest event of the year (AMZN)


Robots Jeff Bezos Amazon spheres

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

SEATTLE, Washington — Amazon held an event at its Seattle, Washington, headquarters on Wednesday where it unveiled new devices across its Echo and Alexa lineup. 

Not only did Amazon release an updated, high-end version of its popular Echo speaker, but it also expanded into new product categories entirely, like earbuds, a smart ring, and smart glasses.

We updated our live blog below throughout the event, so scroll below to learn about the news as it was announced. 

Robots Echo Loop is another Day One product. It’s a smart ring made of a titanium frame that have microphones built in for Alexa connectivity. It will cost $130.

Robots Echo Frames look just like prescription glasses with Alexa built-in. There’s no camera or display built in. The glasses have directional microphones that let you hear Alexa’s responses, but not others around you. The glasses work with your phone and are controlled by your voice. You can also choose to turn off the microphone at any time. You can also filter which notifications Alexa will issue through the glasses, and which ones will remain on your phone.

Robots Now Limp is talking about Amazon’s product development strategy. He’s talking about Day One Editions, a program for products that are finished, but may have some limitations. Echo Frames, a new pair of smart glasses, is one of those products.

Robots The buds will have Alexa built-in, so you can ask it questions on the go. They’re available for preorder today for $130.

Robots Amazon is announcing the Echo Buds too, the previously rumored AirPods competitor. The drivers in the earbuds are inspired by the same ones used by professional artists, says Limp. They will last for five hours on a single charge, and up to 20 hours with the case. The earbuds also have Bose’s active noise reduction technology, which can be turned on with a double-tap. You can also tap and hold to get access to Siri or the Google Assistant, whichever assistant happens to be the native one on your phone.

Robots Now Limp is talking about Alexa in cars. The company is adding GM to its lineup of partners that support Alexa. Cars that are already on the road can get Alexa through an over-the-air update.

Robots Fetch is another product that could take advantage of Amazon Sidewalk. It sits around your dog’s collar, and can tell you if your dog leaves your yard so long as you have one of Amazon’s sidewalk sensors.

Robots Now Limp is talking about Amazon Sidewalk, a new low-bandwidth network that uses the existing spectrum to extend the distance at which you can control devices like smart lights.

Robots Amazon is also launching a Smart Oven. It supports voice control just like the microwave, but there’s also a new feature called scan to cook. You can take pre-packaged food items and scan them, and it will pre-program the smart oven accordingly. It costs $250 and is available for preorder today and comes with an Echo Dot.

Robots Amazon is also launching the first Ring indoor camera too. It’s launching today for $60.

Robots There’s also a new stick-up Ring camera coming soon too. It can run off battery or a solar-power accessory so it can be plugged anywhere throughout the home. It supports 1080p HD video and night vision among other features. It’s getting a 30% price cut making it $100, says Limp.

Robots Now we’re talking about Ring. “When you add Ring to a neighborhood, crime is reduced,” says Limp. Amazon is announcing the Ring retrofit alarm kit so that older sensors can be re-used when connected to a Ring alarm hub.

Robots Amazon is announcing another new product called the Echo Flex. It’s a tiny access point for smart home devices that has Alexa built-in, and it’s designed to be put in rooms all over the home where you may not have an Echo. There are already two accessories for it: a smart motion sensor and a smart night light. Preorders start today and it’s only $25.

Robots Now we’re talking about Alexa Guard. You can now add it to routines, so that you can let it know you’re heading to work so that it locks the doors and turns off the lights with a single command. Amazon is also adding a new detector that can detect human activity through an Echo. It will look for indicators like the sound of footsteps or water running. This only happens when you set it to away mode.

Robots Amazon is also launching a new feature for Ring video doorbells that allows it to act as a concierge that can take a message if you’re not home.

Robots Amazon is also updating its Hunches feature to help you understand when you may need to replace components in connected devices. Alexa would be able to remind you to change batteries or the ink cartridge in a printer, for example. Alexa will also suggest routines for you by picking up on your daily habits.

Robots Amazon is adding APIs to Alexa for Wi-Fi control too. This should make it possible to turn on the guest Wi-Fi network by asking Alexa, for example. Asus and TP-link will be adding this to their router lineup before the end of the year, Limp says.

Robots Now we’re talking about Wi-Fi and eero, the mesh router company Amazon acquired earlier this year. Amazon is launching an all-new eero. It has a dual-band radio and covers the whole home in mesh Wi-Fi coverage. Amazon claims you can set it up in 10 minutes or less. It launches today for $99 and is coming to Europe later this year. It’ll be available in a 3-pack also for $249.

Robots All devices that are part of the program can be set up from the Alexa app.

Robots Amazon is also launching a new program called “Certified for Humans,” which appears to be a seal of approval for devices that are easy to install and set up. Certain smart lights, plugs, and small appliances will be part of the program at launch.

Robots Amazon is also launching a new device called the Echo Glow, which is a tiny bedside lamp with different modes. You can ask Alexa to put it in dance party mode, for example. It’ll ship in time for the holidays.

Robots Amazon is also launching the Alexa Education Skill API, which lets services like Coursera to connect to Alexa. So parents can ask Alexa what homework their kids have, or how their child performed on a recent test.

Robots We’re seeing a demo of how the subscription service Food Network Kitchen works on the Echo with Alexa. Can ask Alexa for recipes and questions about specific ingredients. Limp is now video calling Bobby Flay through the Echo.

Robots Amazon is launching a new Echo Show too, the Echo Show 8. It has an HD 8-inch display and the privacy shutter that the Echo Show 5 has. It’s $130 and available for preorder today.

Robots Amazon is also updating the Alexa Smart Screen SDK, which lets third parties incorporate Amazon’s visual Alexa experience into their own smart TVs and smart screens.

Robots Now we’re talking about Fire TV. Limp is summing up the announcements that were made at the IFA conference in Berlin. There are now 37 million monthly active users on Fire TV around the World, he says.

Robots Amazon said it gave some artists in the music industry early access to the device, like Charlie Puth and 5 Seconds of Summer among others. The Echo Studio will cost $200 and goes up for preorder today.

Robots Echo Studio has three midrange speakers on the left, right, and top, which it uses to model the space. There’s a directional tweeter up front, and at the base there’s a 5 and a quarter inch bass driver.

Robots Amazon is announcing another new Echo: the Echo Studio. It brings 3D audio like Dolby Atmos into the living room, says Limp. The device models the room around you so that no matter where you place the speaker, it should sound good. It seems like a competitor to Apple’s HomePod.

Robots There’s also an Echo Guest Connect mode that allows friends to play their own music through your Echo.

Robots Amazon is also announcing an all-new Echo. The sound architecture from the Echo Plus is now coming to the standard Echo. It will be available in new fabric designs too. Preorders start today and it will still cost $99.

Robots Amazon is also rolling out frustration detection for Alexa. This feature will help Alexa when you’re frustrated at it for misunderstanding a request.

Robots Alexa can also mimic celebrity voices thanks to the new neural text to speech model. Now we’re watching a video with Samuel L. Jackson advertising the feature. Customers can add it to Alexa for $0.99.

Robots Alexa will be more emotive and expressive too, says Limp. If your favorite sports team wins, Alexa can sound more excited. It will also have a newscaster-like voice for reading news briefings. The expressions will roll out over the coming months and years.

Robots There’s a new multilingual mode for Alexa too, and it will be able to automatically switch between languages.

Robots Amazon is also announcing neural text to speech, which should model Alexa’s voice so that it’s much more natural and fluid.

Robots Amazon is announcing a new Echo Dot with a clock. It has an LED display that should be easy to see from across the room, Limp says. You can also see the outside temperature when you ask. When your alarm goes off, you can tap the top to get nine more minutes of sleep. It costs $60 and is available for pre-order today.

Robots Limp is now talking about the Echo Dot. It’s a top-selling Echo with a 4.6-star rating review.

Robots New utterances are coming to Alexa, too. One utterance will be “Alexa, why did you do that?” to help users understand why a false trigger might have happened.

Robots He’s also talking about privacy controls built into Ring. There’s a new feature coming called Home mode that lets users set the device to stop recording audio or video when they’re at home.Limp is emphasizing the control users have over their data, such as the Alexa Privacy Hub, which contains all of the privacy settings for Alexa.

Robots Amazon has also built privacy into the hardware itself. He’s showing us the schematic for the mute button on the Echo Dot. This shows how the microphone becomes disconnected when the mute button is pushed. There’s also a physical shutter on the Echo Show 5, Limp points out.

Robots Now he’s giving us examples of the privacy measures Amazon has built into Alexa and the Eco. In the last year, Amazon has made the Alexa wake word engine 50% more accurate to prevent false awakenings, he says.

Robots Limp is talking about how Amazon often looks at customer reviews for feedback. He’s talking about privacy concerns that have come up regarding Alexa. “Privacy is foundational to everything we do,” he says.

Robots Now the event is starting, and Amazon’s Dave Limp is on stage. He’s showing us the original “working backwards” document that outlined the idea for the Amazon Echo.

Robots And the Alexa-compatible microwave that Amazon announced last year.

Robots Amazon Microwave

Business Insider/Lisa Eadicicco

Robots There’s also a smart home pop-up that’s filled with Alexa-enabled household products, like the June smart oven.

Robots Amazon June Oven

Business Insider/Lisa Eadicicco

Robots Attendees gather outside the Amazon Spheres before the event begins.

Robots Amazon Spheres

Business Insider/Lisa Eadicicco

Robots Exclusive FREE Slide Deck: 40 Big Tech Predictions for 2019 by Business Insider Intelligence


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