New Amazon Echo products
Last week Amazon announced 4 new Echo products that will be launching all before the Christmas festivities begin this year in the United Kingdom. For those that are unaware, Echo is the voice-enabled device that many know as Alexa. Presently there are two versions, the Echo, which is a desktop sized speaker, and the Echo dot, which is much smaller in size and resembles the shape of a hockey puck.
Since it’s launch in the United Kingdom this time a year ago, Echo has become the strongest voice recognition product in its category and we strongly recommend its use throughout your home. It’s easy to use, very responsive and can integrate with many third party products including Philips Hue, Spotify and Nest Thermostats as well as services such as the Trainline, Sky news and even Domino’s pizza.
The first new product release is called the Echo Show, which is a square in shape desktop speaker with a 7.5-inch touch screen built in. The screen allows for video calling between two Echo devices known as ‘Drop in.’ The Echo Show has all the other capabilities of Alexa and looks like a good fit for people’s kitchens or living rooms.
Coupling this product is the Echo Spot, which is a small alarm clock style device that has a 2.5-inch screen and a forward facing camera. This device is much smaller than the Echo Show and can probably fit into many more areas of your home. This again offers the same Alexa functionality as the Echo Show but is slightly more discreet since the face can be used as a clock face or weather status display and it’s overall size makes it less conspicuous.
The third product, which was unveiled, is the Echo Connect, which is a device that plugs into your current telephone point and will enable regular telephony to an Echo device in your home. It will sync to your contact list in your smart phone, through the Alexa app, and then your Echo device will act as a hands free speaker for incoming and outgoing calls. This saves you having to leave wherever you are in the home to search for the telephone handset when the phone rings.
Additionally, Amazon also released an updated version of the Echo speaker which is slightly smaller than it’s original, comes in 6 unique styles to compliment your home, will also be able to handle voice calls as well as having an upgraded speaker which allows for 360 degree audio. If you haven’t already got an Echo this would probably be the best place to start and it has also come down in price from it’s original.
All of these devices are working together to fully enable your voice as the preferred control method for engaging with all the smart devices around your home. No longer will you have to search for your smart phone or remote control in order to switch on the lights or change the channel. We think this is a potentially seismic shift forward in making the home “smarter.” It also feels very futuristic and something that could have been predicted in a science fiction film from the 1980’s.
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