Amazon introduces four new Echo devices
Amazon just announced four new Echo products: the Echo Dot, Echo Dot with Clock, Echo Dot Kids, Echo Studio, and Echo Auto.
The Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock deliver up to twice the bass of the previous generation, according to Amazon. It also has a new temperature sensor, so it can do things like automatically turn on your smart fan when it gets too hot inside. Both devices also have new gesture controls and a new screen. Probably the coolest new feature is a built-in Eero, which turns your device into a WiFi extender to improve network coverage in your home. Built-in Eero will also be rolling out to older Echo Dots and Echo Dots with 4th Gen Clock in the coming months.
The new Echo Dot Kids is now available in owl and dragon designs. The device comes with a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, offering children’s content including books, games, videos, songs and more.
The company has also rolled out a new high-end Echo Studio. Sound quality is even better with new spatial audio processing technology and frequency range extension, according to Amazon.
Last, but certainly not least, is the new Echo Auto, which has a new design and flexible mounting options. You can use Alexa to play music, make calls, and get hands-free roadside assistance.
The Dot is priced at $49.99, the Dot with clock and Echo Dot Kids are both $59.99, the Echo Studio is priced at $199.99 and the Echo Auto is priced at $54.99 . Pre-orders begin today, and devices will begin shipping next month.
Amazon just unveiled the Halo Rise, a $139.99 bedside sleep tracker
Amazon just unveiled a $139.99 contactless sleep tracker called Halo Rise.
Amazon Halo Rise sleep tracking
The company says the device features environmental sensing with a smart alarm and wake-up light, as well as machine learning and sensor technology to accurately detect sleep patterns.
The device comes with a six-month Halo subscription and will ship later this year.
The Halo Rise works with Alexa. It doesn’t require users to press a button or charge a battery and it helps determine all of your sleep stages from REM to light and deep sleep and provides users with a sleep score.
Amazon announces a new Kindle Scribe you can write on
Amazon just announced a new Kindle Scribe, the first Kindle you can write on.
Amazon Kindle Scribe
It has a 10.2-inch screen with a stylus that lets you take notes, make to-do lists, and write directly on the pages of the book you’re reading.
You can use Scribe to annotate PDFs and other documents. It can last for weeks and weeks at no cost.
Pre-orders start today and will ship in time for the holidays. Scribe is priced at $339.99.
David Limp kicks off Amazon’s hardware event with a Kindle presentation
David Limp, senior vice president of devices at Amazon, begins the Kindle presentation.
The robot elephant in the room
A question that will likely be on many people’s minds at the event: Will Amazon mention iRobot, the maker of Roomba?
Amazon made the startling announcement in August that it planned to acquire iRobot for around $1.7 billion, boosting its hardware and robotics business. iRobot is best known for its Roomba robot vacuum and robot mops.
Amazon’s Astro home robot
Amazon launched its own consumer robot, Astro, at last year’s hardware event. Astro is equipped with Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant and can track users throughout the home. But it’s invite-only and will be priced at a hefty $1,450 upon release.
Amazon’s hardware business isn’t very lucrative
A group of Amazon Echo smart speakers, including the Echo Studio, Echo, and Echo Dot models, taken September 24, 2020.
Neil Godwin/Future Publishing via Getty Images
Unlike Apple, which makes money from sales of its flagship iPhone and other products, Amazon’s hardware business doesn’t generate much profit or make up a significant portion of the company’s revenue.
Instead, Amazon is launching devices at rock-bottom prices in an effort to promote its other products and services. He hopes that for every $99 Fire tablet sold, for example, users will buy movies, audiobook subscriptions and other items, which tend to have higher markups.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has previously admitted the retail giant doesn’t expect to make a profit from its devices.
While not a lucrative business, Amazon’s growing line of Echo smart speakers, Ring doorbells and Fire TV Sticks are helping expand the company’s reach in the smart home. And they help serve its other fast-growing businesses, like advertising.
There may be surprises
You can usually expect new Echos, Fire TV software and more at these events, but sometimes Amazon has a few surprises. One year it announced the Echo Frames glasses, for example. Last year, it launched a smart frame that hangs on the wall. And it also used its fall event to advertise a security drone that flies around your house. But it hasn’t been launched yet.
Also worth noting: Amazon just updated its Fire tablets, so we probably won’t see anything new there today.
Amazon launches new gadgets just in time for Prime Day 2.0
Amazon’s hardware event comes at just the right time. The company plans to hold another Prime Day-style discount bargain next month, the first time it has held two sale events in the same year.
Amazon usually offers discounts on its own gadgets during these events. In years past, Amazon-branded devices such as Echos, Fire TVs, and Kindles have also tended to be top sellers on Prime Day (which usually takes place in the summer) and busy holiday shopping days. such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
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