What you need to know
- Amazon has increased development resources for its Alexa robot.
- The existence of the robot was first reported in April 2018.
- A new high-end Echo speaker is also being created to take on Sonos.
In April 2018, it was reported that Amazon was creating its first Alexa robot with plans to launch it in 2019. Over a year later, we finally have an update on what's happening with it.
According to a report from Bloomberg, the Alexa robot (codenamed "Vesta") "isn't ready to be mass-produced" and likely won't be released this year. We thought it was possible that Amazon could end up scrapping Vesta and decide to never release it, but it sounds like the exact opposite is happening.
While Amazon could choose never to release the robot, in recent months it has pulled engineers from other projects to work on it -- a signal the company plans to sell Vesta at some point.
Vesta has wheels to move around your house, and based on what we know so far, will come to you when you call for it. This would bring the benefit of essentially having an Echo speaker always within close proximity of you, but beyond that, it's unclear what other benefits Vesta will offer.
Additionally, the report also says that Amazon is creating a new high-end Echo speaker.
The company plans to release the new Echo by next year, according to people familiar with the product. Prototypes of the cylindrical speaker are wider than the current Echo to squeeze in additional components including at least four tweeters..."
It's likely Amazon will use the new Echo speaker to take on the likes of Sonos and other prominent audio brands, and with the recent news that Amazon Music Unlimited has grown by 70% in the last year, it makes sense for Amazon to release a product that offers the best experience for its streaming service.
Pricing for the premium Echo speaker remains unclear and whether or not it'll exist or replace the Echo Plus, but according to Bloomberg, it's expected to launch at some point this year.
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