Amazon launched a slew of new products on Thursday, including an indoor security drone, automotive safety products, a redesigned Echo speaker with a spherical look, and gaming service.
The most radical of the products is a $ 249 “indoor-only” security drone, Ring Always Home Cam, which Amazon says will automatically fly to predetermined areas of the house, “giving you multiple points of view with a single camera. that flies around the house. “It will only record in flight, says Amazon, which has not offered a release date.
The “all-new” Echo comes in a different ball shape, boasts improved sound, and will sell for $ 99.
The regular Dot, which is also spherical, is priced at $ 49.99, and the Dot edition with a clock is $ 59.99.
Amazon also showed off a redesign of the Echo Show, the Echo unit with a video display. The new Echo Show 10, with a ten-inch screen, is aimed at video calling, which has taken on a new urgency in the COVID era.
What’s unique about this Echo is that it has a rotating base and a screen that “moves with you”, as the camera also digitally pans and zooms as people move around the room. “Now you can find your family while you cook dinner – you’re not stuck in front of your computer or lifting your phone to look at it,” Amazon notes.
Competitive products from Facebook and Google have included a camera that digitally pans and zooms, but the rotating base is new.
Previous editions of the Echo Show did not support the # 1 video conferencing app, but Amazon will bring Zoom to Echo later this “fall,” the company says.
Echo speakers are the crown jewel of Amazon’s self-made products, with a 53% market share in the smart speaker market, compared to Google Nest Home’s 31%, according to Voicebot.ai, which follows voice computing.
Some 87.7 million people currently own a smart speaker in the United States, per Voicebot.
Amazon also announced that it is bringing its Ring security cameras to your car. He said it was the most requested feature by Ring fans.
The Ring Car Alarm at $ 59.99 monitors impacts, break-ins, tows and more and sends alerts. The $ 199.99 Ring Car Cam takes it a step further with an in-car security camera that will also send alerts, through the Ring app, if it detects any break-in attempts. With the integrated camera, drivers can get a live view and check in to the vehicle and its surroundings.
One Car Cam feature touted at Amazon’s press event is “Traffic Stop”. If you are stopped by the police, a driver may say, “Alexa, I am arrested” and the camera will automatically start recording.
Amazon has opened up its coding to other automakers for what it calls Ring Car Connect, a $ 199.99 device that allows drivers to watch video footage of recorded vehicles and monitor whether the car is locked or unlocked. .
Tesla Models 3, X, S and Y are the first vehicles compatible with Ring Car Connect.
The other bestseller in the Amazon Devices category was the Fire TV Stick with Alexa, which also sold for around $ 25, and offers an easy way for TV consumers to add streaming to their TVs.
Fire TV competes with Roku, which offers similarly priced streaming devices. Fire TV and Roku both claim 40 million viewers, making them the dominant players in streaming, which also includes Apple and its Apple TV set-top box, and Google, with its Chromecast dongle.
Highlights from last year’s press event included a wall clock, Echo Buds, a high-fidelity version of Echo, called Studio and Alexa Glasses, which was invite-only and was never officially released. sale.
Another big initiative announced last year was Amazon Sidewalk, which is expanding the line of Alexa devices to areas normally not covered by Wi-Fi, expected to get a lot of attention at the event. Amazon updated Sidewalk this week mentioning that it will launch this year.
“With Sidewalk, you can continue to receive motion alerts from your security cameras even when your Wi-Fi goes down,” Amazon noted. “Or if your Wi-Fi isn’t reaching your smart lights at the edge of your driveway, Sidewalk will help them stay connected.”
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