Amazon refreshed the company’s line-up of Echo devices this week, introducing new designs, enhanced audio, more powerful hardware, and improvements to Alexa. The new line includes a spherical Echo and Echo Dot, and an all-new Echo 10 smart display with a self-rotating design. All of the devices are currently available to order at Amazon.
The most obvious change to the Echo is the spherical shape. The next-gen Echo combines advancements from an Echo and Amazon’s Echo Plus, into a single device. The new Echo features a fabric finish with a bright LED light ring at the base of the sphere, which reflects off surfaces and makes it easier to see. The company also claims that the new Echo also sounds significantly better, thanks to the device’s 3.0-inch woofer, dual-firing tweeters, and Dolby processing. As with the Echo Studio, the new Echo automatically senses the acoustics of your space and fine-tunes audio playback for better sound.
Amazon stated that the Echo now comes with a built-in smart home hub, with support for Zigbee, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and Amazon Sidewalk. Amazon Sidewalk can help you set up new devices quickly, extend the working range of devices like Ring Smart Lighting that may be beyond the range of your home wifi, and offer new support for devices like Tile to locate misplaced items. The new Echo is also powered by Amazon’s first-generation AZ1 Neural Edge processor, which boasts powerful inference engines that feature an all-neural speech recognition model that will process requests faster, making Alexa even more responsive.
The new Echo Dot has the same spherical design and fabric finish as the Echo, with a 1.6-inch front-firing speaker. The new Echo Dot with clock comes with the same enhancements as the new Echo Dot, plus a simple LED display that can display time, temperature, timers, and alarms. Users will also have find a tap-to-snooze feature that will also be available on Echo Dot and Echo.
“These are the best Echo devices we have ever made,” said Tom Taylor, Senior Vice President, Amazon Alexa. “Echo and Echo Dot look beautiful and sound even better, and Echo Show 10 completely reimagines Alexa with a screen—the display moves with you, staying in view as you move around. It’s as natural as having a conversation. Plus, Alexa continues to get smarter—just ask to watch Netflix, make group calls, join video meetings on Zoom, upgrade your smart home with Alexa Guard and Amazon Sidewalk, and much more.”
The all-new Echo Show 10 offers a 10-inch, adaptive HD display that automatically stays in view when you interact with Alexa—no matter where you are in the room. The new brushless motor is completely silent, so you won’t hear the Echo Show 10 rotate. You can ask Alexa to make a video call without worrying about being out of frame, and as you move, the screen does too. The new 13-megapixel wide-angle camera pans and zooms to keep you at the center of the frame during your call or meeting. With Alexa Group Calling, you can create a group of up to eight friends and family members, and simply say, “Alexa, call my family.” Later this year, Echo Show devices will also support Zoom and Amazon Chime video conferencing. Say, “Alexa, join my Zoom meeting,” or “Alexa, start my Chime meeting,” to join a video call.
The company also explained that as the Echo Show 10 moves, so does its dual, front-firing tweeters and woofer, providing premium, directional sound that automatically adapts to your space, making it great for music, videos, and more. Echo Show 10 will also rotate as you watch the news, flash briefings, or TV shows from Hulu + Live TV and Prime Video. In the future, you will also be able to watch Netflix simply by asking Alexa, with the ability to search, browse, and stream the entire catalog, including Netflix Originals.
“Improving our member experience includes making Netflix available where people want it. We’re excited to partner with Amazon on bringing the Netflix experience that people know and love to Echo Show, making it easier for our members to browse their favorite shows and films using their voice,” said Barry Smith, Partner Engagement Manager, Netflix.
The company added, “Echo Show 10 uses advanced computer vision algorithms to help make your home smarter and more secure. When Alexa Guard is in Away Mode, Echo Show 10 can periodically pan the room and will send you a Smart Alert if it detects someone in its field of view. You can also securely access a live feed from another Echo Show device or the Alexa app, with the ability to remotely zoom or pan the display and camera to see the entire room; or set up a Routine that automatically turns on the lights when someone enters the room. Echo Show 10 will use AZ1 to process speech faster and make Alexa more responsive. Plus, its built-in smart home capabilities include support for Zigbee, BLE, and Amazon Sidewalk for devices that stay connected and work great inside and outside your home.”
Echo Show 10 uses a fusion of audio-based localization and computer vision—all processed locally and securely on-device—to power the intelligent motion that keeps the screen facing you or detect someone when in Away Mode. Turn motion off at any time by sliding the built-in camera shutter closed, adjusting settings on-device or in the Alexa app, or just by saying, “Alexa, turn off motion.”
You can compare all of these items on Amazon’s Echo promotional page right here on Amazon.
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