Amazon's Latest Connected Home Product Announcements | Digitized House

Amazon’s Latest Connected Home Product Announcements

Among new Amazon connected home products are a line of audio amplifiers and revised Echo speakers. Image: Amazon.

Online retailing giant Amazon recently held a hardware launch event in which it announced a massive array of new connected home products. We’ll soon be seeing improvements to Amazon’s core line of Echo speakers, new Echo devices, new Alexa voice activation skills, and new Alexa-enabled appliances. Based on these announcements, it’s clear that Amazon wants Alexa to be nearly everywhere—even in your car.

[1] Echo Plus

Echo Plus. Image: Amazon.
Echo Plus. Image: Amazon.

The Amazon Echo Plus is a smart speaker and a smart home hub compatible with popular Zigbee devices. The new Plus features improved sound and the ability to control smart home devices even without Wi-Fi, plus a rounded aesthetic it shares with other new Echo devices. You can get it with a free smart Philips Hue smart bulb for $149.99.

[2] Echo Dot

Echo Dot. Image: Amazon.
Echo Dot. Image: Amazon.

The Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker also got improved audio fidelity and a more rounded, metal and fabric redesign. It goes for $49.99.

[3] Echo Input

Echo Input. Image: Amazon.
Echo Input. Image: Amazon.

Amazon also introduced a new product for those who want to add Alexa to a speaker system they already have. The Echo Input doesn’t have a speaker itself, but it connects to an existing non-smart speaker via Bluetooth or an audio cable. We may start seeing the Input appearing in various speaker bundles on Amazon. It sells for $34.99.

[4] Echo Auto

Echo Auto. Image: Amazon.
Echo Auto. Image: Amazon.

You can take Alexa on the road as you drive with the new Echo Auto. The device uses a smartphone to connect to Alexa and plays audio through the car’s speakers. It’s designed to be able to hear commands even under noisy driving conditions. The device is available on an invite-only pre-order basis to selected Amazon customers for $24.99, and will be $49.99 when it becomes available to everyone.

[5] Echo Show

Echo Show. Image: Amazon.
Echo Show. Image: Amazon.

Amazon also redesigned the Echo Show, its Echo speaker with a built-in screen. The display is now 10 inches, and the device works with Skype. It will be in stock on November 5 and will sell for $229.99. It also comes with with a free smart bulb.

[6] Echo Sub

Echo Sub. Image: Amazon.
Echo Sub. Image: Amazon.

Amazon is also getting more serious about higher-end audio offerings as evidenced by products like the Echo Sub, a 100-watt subwoofer that pairs with Echo speakers to create stereo sound and delivers 100 watts of bass. It’ll be available on October 19 for $129.99.

[7] Echo Link and Link Amp

Echo Link. Image: Amazon.
Echo Link. Image: Amazon.
Echo Link Amp. Image: Amazon.
Echo Link Amp. Image: Amazon.

Two other audio offerings from the company were the Echo Link and the Echo Link Amp. They let you stream music to an existing speaker system, and the Link Amp includes a 60-watt, two-channel amplifier. The Link goes for $199.99, while the Link Amp goes for $299.99.

[8] Fire TV Recast

Fire TV Recast. Image: Amazon.
Fire TV Recast. Image: Amazon.

Amazon also introduced its own DVR, the Fire TV Recast. The device connects to a HD antenna and enables you to record over-air TV programming that you can then watch on a Fire TV device or Echo Show. It allows you to record two shows at once and store up to 75 hours of TV. It will sell for $229.99 when released on November 14.

[9] Ring Stick Up Cam

Ring Stick Up Cam. Image: Amazon.
Ring Stick Up Cam. Image: Amazon.

The company also introduced a new security camera called the Stick Up Camera from Ring, the smart doorbell pioneer which Amazon bought earlier this year. The camera can be used indoors and outdoors and can be ordered in either wired or battery-operated versions. You can see and hear the camera feed and speak to people from your smartphone, tablet, or PC. The camera will be released on October 18 and will cost $179.99. For more details, see our detailed look at the Stick Up Cam.

[10] Amazon Smart Plug

Amazon Smart Plug. Image: Amazon.
Amazon Smart Plug. Image: Amazon.

Amazon also now has its own smart plug, which plugs into an outlet to let you control any device with your voice. The Amazon Smart Plug sells for a pretty standard $24.99.

[11] AmazonBasics Microwave

AmazonBasics Microwave. Image: Amazon.
AmazonBasics Microwave. Image: Amazon.

One of the more surprising announcements was a microwave with Alexa controls. While it doesn’t have built-in voice controls, it can connect to Echo speakers. It also features Auto Popcorn Replenishment, which uses Dash functionality to automatically order popcorn when you run low. Amazon will release its AmazonBasics Microwave on November 14 for $59.99.

[12] Echo Wall Clock

Echo Wall Clock. Image: Amazon.
Echo Wall Clock. Image: Amazon.

Amazon set out to update another standard home product—the wall clock. The Echo Wall Clock has a regular analog clock face but also connects to Alexa via Bluetooth and adds a visual element to one of Alexa’s most popular skills — setting timers. Any time you set a timer with Alexa, LEDs around the edge of the clock will light up and start counting down in 60-second increments. It’ll also automatically adjust for daylight savings time. The clock will cost $29.99 when it releases, but it isn’t available for preorder yet.

Alexa Updates

We also got some new information about Alexa skills at the event.

  • Guard: Guard enables Echo products to act as security devices. When turned on, your device will listen for sounds such as breaking glass.
  • Hunches: Hunches lets Alexa track smart home habits and provide reminders if it thinks you forgot to do something you normally do.
  • Chat: If you ask about the weather, Alexa can now give you suggestions about things to do.
  • Whisper: Alexa can now whisper as well. Simply speak softly, and Alexa will do the same.

Amazon’s most recent product announcements range from subwoofers to microwaves. If you’re an Alexa fan, you now have no shortage of new products to add to your wishlist.

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Kayla Matthews
Senior Contributing Writer
Kayla Matthews is a technology journalist and productivity blogger. She is a senior writer for MakeUseOf and the owner and editor of her tech productivity blog, Productivity Bytes. You can read more by Kayla at Inc.com, VentureBeat, DMN, and more.

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