Amazon hosted its massive hardware showcase on Wednesday and the company took the opportunity to unleash a load of Alexa-based announcements on us.
It’s easy to get buried in all of the Echo announcements that came out this week, so here’s everything ranked by how excited you should be about them.
This list includes smart speakers, home security products, Wi-Fi routers, Amazon’s first venture into true wireless, smart glasses and even an Alexa-powered ring.
Amazon Echo Buds
Probably the biggest announcement of the day. Here’s Amazon’s answer to Apple AirPods and it looks like a bloody good one. Not only are the Alexa-powered Echo Buds cheaper than AirPods, they offer noise cancellation tech courtesy of Bose. They also work with the Alexa wake word. The Buds are $129.99/£119.99. Pre-orders start in the US today, and will open up in the UK later this year.
New Echo Speakers
Echo Dot with Clock: Amazon kicked things off with a new Dot which has an LED under the fabric to display time, temperature or alarm status. A tap will snooze the alarm. The Echo Dot with Clock is $59.99/£59.99 and available to pre-order today. The existing Dot 3rd-gen will remain on sale.
All-new Amazon Echo: Amazon is effectively bringing the best of the Echo Plus to the standard edition with a refreshed design and better audio for just $99.99/£89.99 – the same price as the incumbent.
Amazon Echo Studio: Amazon’s best-ever Echo speaker, in terms of audio quality, has Dolby Atmos for three-dimensional audio. The Amazon Echo Studio costs just $199.99/£189.99 and will be available later this year.
Amazon Echo Show 8: The latest Show has an 8-inch display, but beyond that it’s pretty much the same as the 5-inch model revealed earlier this year. It costs a little more though. It’s $129.99/£119.99. Pre-orders are open today with shipping later this year.
Amazon Echo Flex: Plugging directly into the electrical outlet, this device has a small speaker and is designed as a space-saving device for those who want to interact with Alexa but aren’t playing music, etc.. It also has a USB port for charging a phone, Smart Night Light or Motion Sensor. It costs $24.99/£24.99 and can be pre-ordered now.
Amazon Echo Glow: Announced for the US market right now, the Echo Glow is a $30 voice-controlled nightlight that will enable kids to control the colours illuminating their rooms. There’s a campfire mode, a rainbow mode and the ability to gradually dim to darkness.
New Alexa Capabilities
Auto-delete Alexa Recordings: A long-requested privacy-focused feature, Amazon will now give users the ability to automatically delete the voice recordings Alexa gleans. Users have the option of auto-deleting every 18-months without having to manually ask.
Multi-lingual Voice Commands: Coming soon to Alexa is the ability for households to use multiple languages while communicating with Alexa. Initially it’ll be available to use between English and one of the following languages: Spanish, Canadian French and Hindi. The feature arrives in the US next month.
Celebrity Voices: Samuel L. Jackson is the first in a new wave of celebrity voices for Alexa, which will cost $0.99 (around 80p) each. Apparently there’ll be an explicit mode too! Amazon says it is using neural text-to-speech networks, as well as recordings provided by the stars, to mimic their speech. More to follow, but they’re yet to be announced.
Frustration Mode: Alexa will begin to detect when you’re becoming annoyed at her inability to answer your queries correctly and will begin an utterance with an apology. It launches next year with music requests.
Alexa Guest Connect: This mode is designed to help users log into their Alexa account when using an Alexa device not registered to them. This could be handy if staying at an Airbnb and hoping to play your favourite stations, for example.
Alexa Guard: The security-minded feature can now detect human activity in your home if you’ve set it to away mode. It can also be added to Routines.
Alexa Troubleshooting: You can now ask Alexa why she did something (for example, turning off a smart plug), or to repeat what she heard you say. This will help the assistant get better, Amazon says.
There’s more stuff here including a Food Network skill that enables users to ask for help with recipes, an Education API, and a new communications tool that enables children to chat with each other. The timetable for the release of all of these features is pretty vague right now, so we’ll update you as and when the most important additions begin rolling out.
New Ring home security products
Ring Indoor Cam: At £49.99, this is the most affordable camera in the Ring range. The indoor-only cam offers 1080p HD video, night vision, two-way talk, and motion-activated recording. It’s available in the US today and coming to the UK early next year.
All-New Ring Stick-Up Cam: Designed for indoor or outdoor use, it comes three power options: Plug-In (£89), Battery (£89), and Solar (£129). It also includes 1080p HD video, night vision, two-way talk, and motion-activated recording. Pre-orders begin today ahead of October 23 shipping.
Ring Fetch: A dog tracker you hang on Fido’s collar. It uses the Sidewalk ring-fencing technology to alert you if the pupper gets out of his allotted area. It’s coming out next year.
Eero Mesh WiFi System
Amazon’s answer to Google WiFi promises whole-home Wi-Fi for reliable streaming, gaming and working from home. It costs $99 per router or comes in a pack of three for $249. No news on UK availability yet, but the all-new Eero and Eero Pro are coming to Europe for the first time in November.
Amazon Echo Loop
Working on a similar premise to the Frames, the Echo Loop is a wearable ring with a button for Alexa access, two microphones to pick up speech and the smallest Echo speaker yet to deliver feedback. This device is also part of the Day One invite-only pilot scheme in the US and will cost $99.99.
Amazon Echo Frames
Whoah! Amazon has surprised everyone with Echo Frames, a pair of smart glasses with Alexa at the heart of the experience. These hands-free specs can be worn with or without a prescription and encourage users to use voice commands with feedback coming through small directional speakers. There’s no display or camera present. They’re $179.99, US-only, and part of an invite-only Day One scheme.
Alexa Smart Oven
Following on from the Amazon Basics Microwave introduced last year, is the Alexa Smart Oven. It’s a combination of a microwave, air fryer, convection cooker, air fryer, and food warmer. It leverages a companion Alexa device, like the bundled-in Echo Dot, for voice controls. An app can be used to scan pre-packaged products from Whole Foods for cooking instructions. It costs $249.99. No news on a UK launch yet.
We think that’s everything. Heaven knows we hope so. If there’s anything we’ve missed to tell you about, drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.