Amazon on Thursday announced a series of Echo devices that redefine the entire range even as Alexa, which powers it, becomes smarter and more natural.
The new Amazon Echo is spherical in shape and brings in qualities of the Echo Studio to lower price points. There is also an all-new Echo Dot as well as a Kids edition, with features like the reading sidekick to help children read-along. Alexa will now be able to learn kid profiles and switch to kids mode when it hears a child interacting with it.
The Echo Show 10 comes with a bunch of interesting features. But its USP is its ability to follow the users as they move around the room. Dave Limp, SVP of Devices, explained that it does this by tracking the form of the human and does not need facial recognition for this smart motion. The 10-inch screen will also come with Netflix preloaded and ZigBee Hub for controlling smart devices. It also has a guard and sentry mode to help users keep tab on what is happening in their homes when they are away.
The New Fire TV will offer a personalised main menu and voice-first experience. There is also a new Amazon Fire TV Lite model on offer. Amazon also announced a series of Ring devices to guard the car, but these will be available only early next year.
Alexa is also getting smarter. Alexa head scientist Rohit Prasad explained how the new Echo is powered by Amazon’s first-generation AZ1 Neural Edge processor, which is an “all-new silicon module purpose-built for accelerating machine learning applications”. This lets “powerful inference engines” run quickly with an all-neural speech recognition model that is faster than before.
Prasad showed how Alexa can now become part of a larger conversation, by understanding if a conversation is meant for her or someone else. He said this ‘natural turn taking’ makes Alexa much more natural.
Plus, there is Luna, Amazon’s gaming service aimed at the devices already available to a user. The service will be powered by Amazon Web Services.
Underlining Amazon’s push or sustainability, Dave Limp earlier announced that all Echo and FireTV devices will now have a low-power mode and an energy dashboard that keeps tab on all the devices. He said most of the products announced today will have recycled aluminium and fabric, making them more sustainable, and also announced how Amazon has pledged to displace the entire energy used by all the Echo products around the world.
Amazon Echo India prices: Echo Dot is priced at Rs 4,499 and Echo at Rs 9,999. The Echo Dot with clock will be at Rs 5,499. The new Fire TV Stick with Dolby Atmos is priced at Rs 3,999.
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