Brace yourself — it’s going to be a crazy couple of months with Amazon.
The shopping/tech giant had their annual Hardware Event on Thursday, Sept. 24, and they unveiled a TON of products.
So many Alexa devices — from brand-new Echo speakers to the new Echo Show and even some wild new Ring security cameras — are going to be available very soon.
Although many of these products are available for preorder, none of them got an official release date. We’re thinking that with Amazon Prime Day coming Oct. 13 and the Early Black Friday Deals not long after on Oct. 26, we’ll be seeing these brand-new products on sale very soon.
Here’s what’s coming:
New ball-shaped Echo devices will cost $99.99.
Amazon announced the next generation of the Echo smart speaker, which will maintain the same retail price as its predecessor, $99.99.
The new model is all about maximizing sound quality; they come with a 3-inch woofer, dual-firing tweeters, and Dolby processing. The new sphere shape is designed for best sound quality, and the devices will now adjust to fit the acoustics of your space.
The Echo comes in charcoal, glacier white, and twilight blue colors.
New Echo Dot models aren’t hockey puck-shaped anymore.
Like the Echo, the brand-new Dot models are built for sound, and are spherical (although a smaller sphere than the Echo).
The Echo Dot & Echo Dot with Clock are essentially the same, except one has an LED clock display. Both have a more powerful, 1.6-inch front-firing speaker. They come in the same three colors as the Echo: charcoal, glacier white, and twilight blue.
The retail price of $49.99 for the new Echo Dot and $59.99 for the Echo Dot with Clock are right in line with what we’ve been seeing with the 3rd Gen devices.
The new Echo Show 10 plays Netflix and will follow you around the room.
The big add to the video-enabled Echo Show device this year is “intelligent motion” — which uses a super-quiet motor to keep it faced towards you — whether you’re on a video call, reading a recipe, or watching Netflix — which is being added to the Show later this year. Zoom connectivity is coming soon, too!
The new Echo Show also has a 10-inch HD screen, a 12MP camera, 2.1 audio system, adaptive sound (like the other new Echo devices), and Sentry Mode, which turns the device into a security camera.
If you don’t want that feeling of being watched, the new Echo Show has a camera shutter. You can manually close the shutter at any time.
The Echo Show 10 will retail at $249.99 — about $20 more expensive that what the most recent model has been going for.
Amazon has given the Echo Dot Kids Edition an animal-themed redesign.
Amazon’s kid-friendly Dot device, the Echo Dot Kids Edition, lets parents set daily time limits, review activity, and filter content.
Amazon announced the next generation of the Echo Dot Kids Edition, which features either a tiger or a panda face on the ball-shaped devices — as well as animal-themed alarms. There’s also a Reading Sidekick that will read to kids.
The new kid devices retail for $59.99 — $10 more than what we were seeing with the last model.
The real question is, will they make another Yoda ears stand?
Ring introduces new products for the car, including Car Cam and Car Alarm.
Ring, Amazon’s home surveillance company known for their video doorbells, introduced some new features that’ll keep your car safe (with no release date):
- Ring Car Alarm ($59.99): This audio-based device works in 99% of cars, and plugs into your car’s On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) port, actively monitoring for impacts, break-ins, tows, and more. There’s no monthly subscription.
- Ring Car Cam ($199.99): It features all of the monitoring of the Car Alarm, plus dual-facing HD cameras that broadcast a live view. There’s Emergency Crash Assist that will automatically contact first responders in the event of a crash, and when you say, “Alexa, I’m being pulled over,” the cameras will start recording and securely store the footage.
- Ring Car Connect ($199.99): Amazon is opening up their Ring system to car manufacturers, linking the security network to cars’ systems. That means customers will be able to receive alerts for detected events, watch video footage, and get information about their car (such as, whether it’s locked or unlocked). Tesla drivers will be the first to experience Car Connect when it rolls out in 2021.
Ring is releasing a $249 flying camera for your home.
You ever hear a bump in the night and don’t want to get up to see what’s happening? There’s a drone for that.
Amazon announced the Ring Always Home Cam, a flying indoor camera that will hover to various pre-programmed positions, giving you different viewpoints around the house.
It’ll cost $249 when it releases (and we don’t know when that’ll be). Don’t worry — it’s pretty loud, so it won’t sneak up on you.
There’s now a super-cheap version of the Fire TV Stick.
The Fire TV Stick Lite is coming for just $29.99, which is a crazy-low price for a full-HD Smart TV device Amazon says is 50% more powerful than the previous generation Fire TV Stick.
What makes it “Lite”? The remote that comes with it, which controls the Fire TV Stick but doesn’t engage with your TV’s controls (things like volume, power, etc.).
There’s also a new standard Fire TV Stick, which has the souped-up remote and support for the Dolby Atmos sound system. Its $39.99 price tag matches previous versions.
Amazon joins the holiday season gaming wars with Luna.
Amazon announced a new cloud-based streaming video game platform, called Luna. It’ll be available via PC, Mac, Fire TV, iPhone and iPad, with Android coming soon.
The service starts at $5.99/month and offers more than 100 games in 4K, 60 frames-per-second resolution, including Resident Evil 7, Control, Panzer Dragoon, A Plague Tale: Innocence, The Surge 2, Yooka-Laylee, GRID, Abzu, and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.
You can play using a mouse and keyboard; a Bluetooth controller; or Amazon’s new, Xbox-like, Alexa-enabled Luna Controller for $49.99.
The advantage of the Luna Controller? Apparently, it has something called “cloud direct” connectivity, which basically makes it more responsive than any other way you could play the game.
Luna has Twitch integration and a special partnership with video game giant Ubisoft.
Amazon introduces $4.99/month Guard Plus monitoring.
Alexa Guard is a free feature that empowers Alexa-enabled devices to listen for various sounds, from snoring, to crying babies, to barking dogs, to glass breaking. It’s been so popular that Amazon has added a new enhanced version of the service, called Alexa Guard Plus, which has the following features:
- Calls an Emergency Helpline, hands free
- Deters intruders with repellent sounds/alarms
- Increased detection of potential emergencies
Alexa Guard Plus will cost $4.99/month or $49/year, and Ring Protect Plus customers will get Guard Plus free as part of their subscription. Amazon is offering the first month for free.
The next generation of Eero products looks to improve home wifi.
The newly announced Eero 6 and Eero Pro 6 devices are designed to create strong, solid wifi connections for more than 75 devices at a time. They have the faster, newer WiFi-6 technology, mesh WiFi capability, a built-in smart home hub, and compatibility with existing Eero devices.
The Eero Pro 6 ($229.00 retail) has a tri-band WiFi signal and covers up to 2,000 square feet, while the Eero 6 ($129.00) covers up to 1,500 square feet.
Bonus: The Alexa assistant is getting some big upgrades.
You’ll see some substantial changes to the Alexa smart assistant in the coming weeks. These phrases will be big moving forward:
- “Alexa, join our conversation.” By saying these words, you’re giving Alexa permission to listen in on your conversation and interject when appropriate. Basically, it just keeps you from having to say the wake word over and over.
- “Alexa, that’s wrong.” Saying these words will help Alexa realize when it has made a mistake, and new machine learning tweaks will help the assistant improve. Alexa might even ask you some follow-up questions.
- “Alexa, delete everything I’ve ever said.” If you’re worried about privacy and your search terms being used against you, you’re now able to wipe Alexa’s memory.
- “Alexa, review my privacy settings.” Finally, there’s an easier way to personalize these.