Amazon held its latest launch event on Wednesday, announcing a ton of new hardware products and software upgrades to enhance your smart home. From new smart speakers to better Wi-Fi and even a new Kindle with a stylus, there was plenty to see at Amazon’s Devices & Services event. We’re surprised the company was able to do it all in about an hour.
This was an invite-only event, though we’ve rounded up some of the most important launch announcements.
Echo speakers as Wi-Fi extensions
Amazon has a new generation of Echo Dot speakers, equipped with an impressive temperature sensor and even a temperature sensor that can, for example, turn on a fan if it notices your home is too hot. And the new Echo Dot with Clock can provide users with more information at a glance.
More importantly, users with eero mesh Wi-Fi routers can add the new Echo Dots to their system, extending their Wi-Fi to even more areas of their home. And that capability is rolling out to 4th-gen Echo devices as well.
The Echo Show 15 finally bears his name
The Echo Show 15 is an impressive smart display that’s suitable for the whole family, and Amazon is making it even better by adding Fire TV. This lets families access the Fire TV UI to watch their favorite shows and movies, almost like having another TV in the house.
More updates are coming to the screen, such as custom Alexa routines, video sticky notes, and more. However, the addition of Fire TV is by far the most notable.
More Fire TV hardware
Speaking of Fire TV, Amazon has a few new devices for users looking to upgrade their setups. First up is the next-gen Fire TV Cube, which has a built-in speaker, HDMI ports, and 4K upscaling that should make your content look great no matter how you watch it. .
There’s also the new Fire TV Omni QLED series, which features Adaptive HDR10+, 96 dimming zones, built-in Alexa and an Ambient Mode that’ll show you a slideshow of images if it detects your presence. It’s available in 65-inch or 75-inch 4K models.
Kindle with a stylus
Amazon just launched a new Kindle device, but the company isn’t done with it. The new Kindle Scribe brings a new level of e-reader productivity with the included stylus that lets users jot down as they read. Users can even create sticky notes or send documents to their Kindle from their computer, allowing them to edit them with the stylus.
Now you have a tablet that can do more while keeping you productive.
Amazon has a few companies under its umbrella, including Ring and Blink. Both of these companies make smart home security cameras and both have launched their latest products. Blink’s new Floodlight wired camera offers 1080p recording and person detection, while the new Ring Spotlight Cam Pro adds 3D motion detection and a bird’s-eye view to let you see the big picture .
He sees you when you sleep…
Something we didn’t expect is the latest addition to Amazon’s Halo lineup. The Halo Rise is essentially a smart lamp that can monitor your sleep through contactless sensors. It’s not too different from Google’s Nest Hub (2nd gen), although it doesn’t have a screen and offers the added privacy of not including microphones. It can also wake you up at the most ideal times, depending on your sleep pattern, and you can set alarms to your favorite tunes.
Of course, it wasn’t just about devices, but there were also service updates. Alexa Together, Amazon’s remote care service for aging loved ones, has customizable alerts to better reassure caregivers.
The Echo Show devices are also getting some features, like Shop the Look, which lets users describe the clothes they want to buy and shows them a selection of items, or Creative AI, which gives kids the ability to create stories with Alexa.
And above each ad loomed “Ambient Intelligence,” which Amazon describes as digital services that work naturally in the background and adapt to users so we don’t have to think too hard about using products. Amazon says 90% of Alexa routines are started without users saying a word, and ambient intelligence needs to be proactive and personal.
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