Amazon announced a slew of Alexa devices in its Echo range and upgraded the existing ones. To start with, the Amazon Echo Dot, the new Echo Dot now comes with a LED that display the time. The Echo Dot with a clock can also display things like the temperature or alarm times. The new Echo Dot is available for pre-order for USD 59.99.
Amazon has also worked on the Text to Speech technology of the Alexa that allows them to add multilingual mode to Alexa’s speech. The multilingual mode will be available in three pairs to start: in the United States – English and Spanish, in India – Indian English and Hindi, and in Canada – Canadian English and French.
Besides this to make it more interesting. Amazon also announced its first celebrity voice for Alexa. The new voice will be of actor and producer Samuel L. Jackson. Two versions of his voice are available – explicit and non-explicit. You’ll be able to interact with Samuel L. Jackson later this year – and if you add this personality in 2019, you’ll get a special price of USD 0.99. Amazon will be adding more celebrity voices next year.
Coming back to devices, Amazon also announced the all-new Echo that features the same audio architecture as Echo Plus, including neodymium drivers, a 3-inch woofer and increased back volume. In addition to Charcoal, Sandstone and Heather Gray, the new Amazon Echo will also come in Twilight Blue.
One of the highlights of the launch is the Echo Studio. Amazon’s first smart speaker that comes with 3D audio from Dolby Atmos. Amazon says Echo Studio delivers unbelievable sound, with space, clarity, and depth. Once plugged in, and the built-in Alexa microphones will automatically calibrate and model the room around you. Echo Studio comprises of left, right and top mid-range speakers that create directional sound, it also has a directional tweeter and a built-in 5.25-inch bass driver with a bass port. Amazon is working with Universal Music Group, Sony using Sony 360 format, and Warner Music Group to make music available from Amazon’s HD Music service and other services over time.Since video is already encoded in Dolby Atmos, the Echo Studio can connect to 4k Fire TV devices. This makes Atmos-encoded content on your Fire TV to fill the room with sound without the complexity.
Besides Music, Amazon launched Echo Show 8 for video consumers. The new device has a 8-inch HD display. It also has a camera shutter. Echo Show 8 will cost USD 129.99, and is available for pre-order.
For Kids, Amazon introduced the Echo Glow, a multi-color smart lamp that pairs with Alexa. Kids can ask Alexa for a flickering campfire light for playtime, a Sleep Timer that gradually dims as bedtime nears, or, coming soon, a dance party with music and lights. They can also set Echo Glow to softly cascade through all the colors of the rainbow or light up with your favorite color. Echo Glow is available for USD 29.99 and is up for pre-order.
Amazon also launched Echo Buds, that offers hands-free access to Alexa. Each earbud has two premium, balanced armature drivers, which deliver crisp, clear vocals, and dynamic bass. Echo Buds have 5 hours of battery life with just the earbuds and up to 20 hours of battery life with the case. One can also tap and hold to access phone’s voice services like Siri or Google Assistant. Echo Buds are available for USD 129.99 and will start shipping in October.
One of the most interesting launch is the Echo Frames. These are Alexa-enabled glasses that look like regular prescription glasses (without a prescription, but you can add one), and they’re comfortable, weighing only 31 grams. They don’t have a camera or display to get in the way—they’re all about all-day access to Alexa on-the-go while keeping your hands, ears, and eyes-free to engage. These will be out in limited volume, to customers, and to get real feedback.
Another limited edition product is the Echo Loop. It’s an Alexa-enabled smart ring. It has 2 microphones activated by a button tap. Echo Loop has two-microphones, the smallest speaker ever on an Echo device, and a haptic engine that vibrates discreetly when you receive notifications or an incoming call, or to signal that the button has been pressed and Alexa is streaming your request to the cloud. Paired with your phone, this ring lets you access information throughout the day.
Echo Frames and Echo Loop will be available in limited volumes by invite only. Echo Frames will be available for a special price of USD 179.99 during the invite period. Echo Loop will be available for USD 129.99 during the invite period. Both will begin shipping later this year.
Besides these, Amazon also announced other products that will be available soon. The India launch and availability for these devices is yet to be known.