Amazon unveils a smorgasbord of new connected devices

21 Sep 2018

AmazonBasics microwave. Image: Amazon

Amazon is planning to dominate the smart home market with Alexa-connected clocks and microwaves.

Yesterday (20 September), Amazon launched a vast quantity of new products at an event in its home city of Seattle. The 14 new Alexa-enabled products unveiled show just how seriously the company is taking the smart home market.

The event itself came in at about 90 minutes long – pretty speedy for a tech unveiling of its scale.

In short, Amazon’s goal is to make the Alexa voice assistant a more ubiquitous feature around the home. While the company is touting the increased convenience that will come with integrated Alexa, the boost in e-commerce transactions made through the smart assistant is also a factor.

Read on to find out what the company has planned for the smart home.

Echo Show

The next generation of Echo Show has a 10in HD display with a built-in smart home hub. The Echo Show allows Alexa to become a sous-chef, giving you step-by-step tips for recipes as well as visuals. Later this year, the Echo Show will be able to use a new video doorbell and built-in smart home hub video doorbell integration that works with Ring doorbell cameras.

Echo Dot update

Amazon’s most successful smart speaker is now 70pc louder and comes with four far-field microphones. It also has a fresh new design.

Echo Plus update

The company’s premium smart speaker has an in-built smart home hub and temperature sensor and can hear a user from any direction. It also has beam-forming technology and noise cancellation.

Echo Sub

The Echo Sub device works along with the Echo or Echo Plus to add bass while listening to music. It offers stereo sound when paired with two of the same Echo devices.

Echo Link Amp and Echo Link

These are stereo amplifiers with numerous audio in and audio out options. The Link will connect to a receiver or an amplifier and the Link Amp allows the Echo to play music on your stereo system.

Amazon Smart Plug

With this plug, Alexa can control electrical sockets. Users can schedule lights and appliances to turn on and off automatically, with no smart home hub needed. The Alexa app or a device with Alexa is all that’s needed.

Amazon Echo Wall Clock

This clock works with Alexa-enabled devices to display timers set with Alexa. While it has no microphones, it does have a ring of LED lights that show your active timers. It will also automatically change during daylight savings time.

Amazon Echo Input

Plugging this nifty piece of kit into any existing speaker can basically turn it into an Echo. It’s the company’s response to Google Chromecast Audio. The Echo Input also includes microphones, which means Alexa comes along with it.

AmazonBasics microwave

The microwave has built-in Alexa that can be controlled by voice. You can ask Alexa to cook certain foods and it will turn on with the correct time. Time can also be added via voice.

Alexa Connect Kit

This is basically a module that has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, so it is connected to cloud services required by developers such as security and configuration. It will be used by third parties to integrate Alexa into their products.

FireTV Recast

The FireTV Recast device is a DVR recorder that can stream shows from an antenna to your home. It allows streaming on multiple devices and Alexa means you can ask it to record or delete shows by voice.

Echo Auto

An accessory that mounts to the dashboard of a car and lets you integrate Alexa into the vehicle. The device connects through Bluetooth, BLE or a 3.5mm jack.

Ring Stick Up Cam

This is an update to the pre-existing Ring Stick Up Cam. Amazon acquired Ring recently, and the security camera has two versions, wired and battery-powered. It can work indoors or outdoors.

Updated, 1.46pm, 21 September 2018: This article was updated to clarify that Amazon released 14 new Alexa-enabled products, not 15.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects