This week, Amazon held a virtual press event to show off its latest innovations in hardware and devices, services, and sustainability initiatives. Of course, a few things that were shown off had been expected, like a new Echo smart display and updates to its popular Ring and Blink home security devices. But there were a few other surprises that look to be either revolutionary or concerning, depending on your point of view.
To start off the event, the company unveiled a new Echo Show device called the Echo Show 15, which, in addition to sporting a larger display, can be mounted on a wall or other surface. It also features a new user interface with quick action tiles that Amazon is calling Alexa widgets.
We also saw the second-generation of Halo fitness wearable that boasts an AMOLED display, updates to the Halo fitness subcription service, a first-party Amazon smart thermostat, and new smart video doorbells, lights, and alarms from its Ring and Blink brands.
Perhaps most intriguing products that Amazon showcased, were the invitation-only devices, including the Glow, Ring Always Home Cam, and Astro.
The Amazon Glow is an interactive device that combines the video calling abilities of an Echo Show with a projector-enabled virtual display. The product is positioned as a device that can facilitate entertaining and engaging interactions between your kids and distant relatives.
The Ring Always Home Cam is a video surveillance drone that you can operate in your own home. Amazon/Ring actually announced this product last fall, but it is now finally available for those who are interested in requesting an invitation to purchase.
However, the star of the show was the Astro, a semi-intelligent robot with an Echo Show for a face. Owners can interact with this device as a virtual pet, use it as an autonomous sentry, or treat it like a mobile Echo smart speaker. As with the Glow and Always Home Cam, those who are interested must request an invitation to purchase.
So with all of these intriguing announcements, which product strikes your fancy? Do you think you'll be purchasing any of them or requesting an invite any time soon?
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Jeramy is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about smart home gadgets and wearables, he's defending his relationship with his smart voice assistants to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.
None !!! The robot looks cute but $1000 is too much 😂 For rest of the smarts I mostly invested into Nest/Google or Apple stuff so have no interest in Amazon and Alexa.
Yes, I concur--none of this.
I'm gonna have to say nothing as well! I love robots, but That Alexa on wheels doesn't seem to offer much to justify its price.
Spy in the house to follow your every move, hmmm, just track me via my GPS / phone and don't ask for the £1500!!
I wouldn't buy crap sold by Amazon much less made by them.
Sorry. I have to agree. None of it.
Wow. I thought I'd be the only one that saw nothing of interest whatsoever. But, I'm apparently not alone after all.
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