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Monday, October 19, 2020

Amazon hardware event 2019: Everything the e-commerce giant announced, from Echo Frames to Echo Buds

At Amazon's fall event in Seattle, the e-commerce giant announced a number of new hardware products and Alexa skills. Here's everything Amazon showed off at its annual event.

Written by Anuj Bhatia | Seattle | Updated: September 26, 2019 8:30:50 pm
Amazon September 25 event, Amazon Echo, Amazon Echo Studio, Echo Frame, Echo Buds, Echo Flex, Echo Show 8 Amazon’s fall event was a busy affair. The company unveiled a pair of smart glasses, updated Echo smart speakers, new Alexa skills and much more. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Amazon had a lot to show off at its annual hardware event in Seattle, Washington, on Wednesday. The e-commerce giant showed an impressive lineup of devices including Alexa-enabled earbuds, a premium sounding Echo smart speaker, a pair of smart glasses, a smart ring, a redesigned Eero router and a smart oven. The company also announced a bunch of new capabilities that are coming to Alexa, including the all-new multi-lingual mode, auto-delete voice-recording feature, and more.

Here everything Amazon announced at its fall event in Seattle.

Echo Buds

As has been rumoured, Amazon is making a pair of truly wireless earbuds. Priced at $129, Amazon’s Echo Buds have an Alexa built-in them and offer five hours of battery life and up to 20 hours of battery life with the case. The new wireless buds also feature noise cancellation technology from Bose. The biggest competition to the Echo Buds comes into the form of Apple’s AirPods, which have the best-selling truly wireless earbuds in the world.

Echo Buds is a pair of truly wireless earbuds. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Echo Studio 

Taking on the Apple HomePod and Sonos One is the Echo Studio. The Echo Studio features high-quality speakers that allow 3D support and Dolby Atmos. The high-end Alexa-enabled smart speakers auto adjust the sound to the room. What goes inside the Echo Studio are mid-range five speakers that create directional sound. With the retail price of Rs 22,999 – not surprisingly – the Echo Studio doesn’t cheap but none of these premium smart speakers do. The Echo Studio is designed to stream Amazon Music HD.

Echo Dot with Clock

Amazon has upgraded the entry-level Echo Dot speaker as well. The popular smart speaker includes an LED display built underneath the device’s fabric casing. It’s already available for pre-order from Amazon India and will cost Rs 5,499. Amazon will continue to sell the existing Echo Dot in the market.

The all-new Echo smart speaker now features updated speakers. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

All-new Echo 

The e-commerce company also introduced the all-new Echo. The new Echo smart speaker gets updated speakers and will be available in a range of new colours. At Rs 9,999, the new Echo will be available in Charcoal, Sandstone, Heather Grey and Twilight Blue.

Echo Glow

Amazon has also introduced a new Echo companion device, called the Echo Glow. The $30 device is specially targeted for kids and lets them tap the top of the device, which changes the colour. It works with Alexa, which means you can set timers, play music and so on. The Echo Glow is currently available on pre-order and will ship during the holidays.

The Echo Show now comes with an 8-inch HD screen. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Echo Show 8 

The Echo Show 5 is so popular that Amazon is now making the popular smart speaker in a new 8-inch screen. The $129 Echo Show 8 offers an 8-inch HD screen, improved speakers, the camera shutter and sleep form factor. It is available for pre-order in the US starting today.

Amazon Smart Oven

After launching a $60 microwave oven, Amazon now wants to sell yet another Alexa-enabled smart oven for the kitchen. The $249 smart oven comes with convection cooking and an air fryer. It syncs with Alexa, which means your voice commands will trigger the oven to start cooking.

The Fetch is a pet tracker uses new Sidewalk protocol. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Echo Flex

Amazon is introducing a new way to experience Alexa in the form of the Echo Flex. The $25 device is basically a tiny speaker that plugs into a wall and easily brings Alexa into any room. There is an optional motion sensor and nightlight attachment that costs $14.

All-new Eero home router

Amazon also refreshed Eero home routers. The updated Wi-Fi router now includes dual-band radio and TrueMesh technology so that users have “whole-home WiFi coverage.” It starts at $99 for a single device, or $249.99 for a 3-pack, both of which are available for pre-order today in the US.

Amazon now has a pair of Alexa-enabled smart glasses. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Echo Frames, Echo Loop

In a surprise announcement, Amazon took the wraps off two new “Day1” products, which the company says are still under development. One of the products is the all-new Echo Frame, which are prescription glasses that feature two built-in microphones for Alexa commands. Another is the Echo Loop, a titanium ring with two microphones and a haptic engine.  The devices start at $199 and $129, respectively, and are available in limited quantities at the moment.

Amazon Sidewalk

Amazon also announced Sidewalk, a new wireless protocol that uses a 90Hz frequency band to link smart lights, sensors, and other IoT enabled devices. The company believes both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi don’t have enough range. The solution, according to Amazon, is Sidewalk. It is basically designed to power ultra-low-power devices. To demonstrate what the new Sidewalk is capable of, Amazon has launched Ring Fetch, a dog tracker that will use Sidewalk.

Door concierge

Amazon also announced a new Alexa feature called “doorbell concierge,” which essentially adds the voice assistant to Ring smart doorbells. The update allows the Ring doorbell more conversational. Another new Alexa feature takes advantage of artificial intelligence to mimic celebrity voices. By paying 99 cents,  users can select a celebrity voice like actor Samuel L. Jackson to tell them the weather, set alarms and play music. The feature is set to roll out later this year.

Disclaimer: The author is in Seattle on the invite of Amazon India 

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