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Amazon Hardware Show Highlights        

New Amazon Products Center Around Alexa

October 6, 2017

Amazon released updates and new product features on Echos, Fires, and even BMW partnership last week at their pop up Hardware Show. The show introduced new products just a few days after Apple unleashed their iPhone8 X, and 4K Apple TV.

Echo Dot
Amazon had several renovations to their Echo speaker including a first look at the Echo Spot. Echo Spot is an all-in-one “Swiss army knife” alarm clock.  It is the smaller version of Echo Show (which is currently having some Google hangups, read about that here).  The Spot comes equipped with a 2.5″ screen and can make video calls as well as being able to support music streaming services like Spotify and Prime Music. The hope is that the orb will be seamlessly incorporated into the Alexa family to complete the multi-room effect. The lil’ Spot goes on sale just in time for Christmas and retails at $130.


Image Source: TechSpot.

Amazon Home
In tune with their push to make your household an “Amazon” home (increasing their competition with Sonos), they will be selling 3-packs of Echos for $249. This trio will come in a variety of finishes like wood and grey cloth to match living rooms to dining rooms to bedrooms, even bathrooms.  A shorter and less expensive Echo was also released. The second generation version is the more affordable speaker at $99 and has several different designs as well.


Echo’s come with a variety of different designs making them perfect for any room of the house.

Echo Plus  
Expanding on the original Echo, the Plus is the same size but has gotten smarter. Incorporating Zigbee, the refreshed Echo can recognize your voice from a farther range and is the powerhouse, the hub, for Alexa. It’s capabilities have increased and are compatible with over 100 other smart home programs (all by voice) and has improved Dolby sound.  Additionally, you can now quickly program Alexa to do multiple tasks in one. Come bedtime, saying “Alexa, good night” will turn down smart shades, turn off lights, get tomorrow’s weather, etc. Alexa is becoming smarter and even more helpful especially with the introduction of the Plus.  You can purchase the Echo Plus come Halloween (with early releases in India today) for $150.

Alexa + BMW 

We first heard about Alexa being introduced to cars at CES when Ford hinted at the partnership.  And with 2018 quickly approaching, Alexa integrated BMW and MINI vehicles will now be peeling out of dealerships.  The cars will be equipped with the virtual assistant via microphones in the car as well as the a display board in the center console. “It’s a complete, comprehensive set of internet capabilities that is available inside your vehicle,” said a BMW exec about the conjunction (originally quoted in Verge).


Image Source: BMW.

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