Amazon kicked off an unexpected hardware event yesterday and surprised us by showcasing their cool new hardware added to their Echo family. The Alexa powered Echo speaker was originally introduced in 2014 and has not been updated since. Yesterday they released the upgrades to the existing ones along side a refreshed and improved Amazon Fire TV.
In case you missed the event, we have listed all the major announcements down below.
• Amazon Echo Spot:
Echo Spot is the most interesting new member of the Echo family, it is a smart alarm clock that is blessed with a camera and a screen. This Alexa powered device can make video calls, send texts and provides weather alerts. You can also watch videos on its 2.5 inch screen if you want.
This device has a built-in speaker but you can also connect external speakers using the 3.5mm jack or the Bluetooth. The Echo Spot looks like Echo Show and Echo Dot had a baby.
This smart clock will be available by December in the United States and will cost around $130, the pre-orders are available.
• Amazon Echo Plus:
Echo plus is an upgrade to the original Amazon Echo. It has the same size and structure as the existing one, but now it features a smart home hub which allows the user to control various smart gadgets like smart switches, bulbs etc. It uses second generation far field voice recognition and enhanced sound. It also supports Zigbee as a power efficient way to extend its wireless range.
The speaker structure is internally different from last year and they have been improved for better sound quality.
This device is compatible with up to 100 smart home gadgets and has the functionality of searching these gadgets by listening to the voice command. The Echo Plus comes with a smart Phillips Hue bulb in the box and has a price tag of $149, it will start shipping on October 31st and the pre-orders are available.
There is also a smaller version available for the Echo Plus which is almost half the size of the original and you can get one for yourself now for about $99. These devices also come in different designs like wood, fabric etc.
• Echo Connect:
There is also a new Echo connect device that will allow you to make landline calls with Alexa. Your Phone number will still be tied to calls so recipients can recognize you. This device has a price tag of $35.
• Echo Button:
The last member of the Echo family is Echo Button. These buttons are hockey puck shaped devices that you can use to play various games alongside an Alexa enabled device. Like you can play TV style trivia games at your home. Echo Button comes in a pack of two and costs about $20.
• Amazon Fire TV:
The company also released the 3rd Generation of their streaming device known as the Fire TV. The last generation of the Fire TV was launched back in 2015 with already added support for 4K Ultra HD videos and Dolby Atmos integration. The latest version of the device will now support 4K High Dynamic Range (HDR) videos with 2160p resolution at the rate of 60 frames per second.
The new Fire TV has a square shape structure and looks like a chrome cast. It can be controlled by the Alexa voice remote.
Amazon Fire TV will be rivaling against the Apple TV 4K which also supports HDR. It costs about $69.99 which is much cheaper than the Apple TV which starts at $179.
• Amazon Partnered Up With BMW:
It seems like the Amazon is trying to fit Alexa into every possible place they can. The company first partnered up with Microsoft which would allow Alexa and Cortana to share their features and abilities to work together.
Now the Amazon has announced its partnership with BMW and Alexa will be getting integrated into BMWs and mini cars. All the models released by mid 2018 in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany would be Alexa compatible.
This will allow users to control features of the car using voice control like locking the door, listening to music, climate control etc.