The Most Important Hardware Announcements From Today's Amazon Event

22 Setiembre, 2018, 18:38 | Author: Misty Newman
  • Amazon shows off microwave, clock, smart plug-in linked by their cloud-based voice service Alexa

Not only is this a great leap for Alexa which, until earlier this year, supported 12,000 products, but also takes the game to its biggest competitor, Google Assistant, which, in comparison, only supports a little over 5,000 smart devices and an unspecified number of brands (as of May 2018). The Echo Input is not dissimilar to Google's Chromecast Audio except that it incorporates mics to recognize voice commands, but will retail for US$35.

If you're a bit more of an audiophile, you'll want to check out the Echo Link or Echo Link Amp. It will let you play music, watch video, view recipes and look at news briefs.

Furthering the notion of a hifi system built from separates (and not active speakers), the Echo Link and Echo Link Amp both offer a subwoofer output and a line-level input. It can be paired with an Echo to create a more robust sound system with powerful bass.

Echo Dot and Echo Plus received minor refreshes, including a new fabric-wrapped design with rounded edges, louder speakers and a new temperature sensor in the Echo Plus. Interested buyers can request an invitation for owning an Echo Auto for an introductory price of $25.

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But Amazon is trying to shorten that gap. The Echo Wall Clock means you won't have to worry about the switch to daylight savings time again, Limp said. Since this is basically just a clock-one that auto-corrects for stupid things like "spring forward" and "fall back", mind you-but a clock nevertheless. You'll find the new Echo Dot on Amazon for sale right now for approximately $50 United States dollars.

The Echo Sub is probably the simplest device of the lot. The idea is to have Alexa everywhere "in your kitchen, in your living room, in your office, and now in your vehicle or truck", said Tom Taylor, SVP at Amazon Alexa.

To help avoid miscommunications, the device uses eight microphones specifically designed for in-car acoustics. Turn-based directions now work with Waze and Apple Maps. When you do, your various Echo devices will send you a notification if they hear certain sounds-an alarm going off, a window shattering, etc. It will say, "you left the porch light on". The goal here is to connect all types of devices in your house, tightly integrated with the internet which can be controlled easily with a voice.

The top is rather plasticky though and while it's hardly likely people will be put off by this, it's clear that the finish quality isn't as good as the super-expensive Apple HomePod or, say, a Sonos device.


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