At their annual hardware event, Amazon has announced a new range of hardware across their Alexa powered range of Echo smart devices, as well as new products from RING and Eero – and as a final surprise, their new game streaming service.
As usual with all of Amazon’s announcements there’s not a lot of information on what devices will arrive in Australia, or just remain in the US. Amazon generally announces stuff for Australia as it launches, and we’ll keep up to date on those as they come over the next year.
The star in Amazon’s smart range of devices are the Echo series and there was plenty of Echo devices announced. Amazon showed off new Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Dot with clock, and Echo Dot Kids Edition speakers, though just how many of these arrive in Australia remains to be seen.
The big change for the Echo lineup is the new spherical design, as well as the all new AZ1 Neural Edge silicon module designed in partnership with Mediatek. The AZ1 module is a custom-designed silicon module which Amazon says is ‘built to accelerate machine learning applications and make Alexa even faster.
Amazon has combined the features from third-gen Echo and the Echo Plus into one unit for the new fourth-gen Amazon Echo, which will include a built-in Zigbee smart home hub.
The new Echo will sound better too, partly thanks to the spherical design says Amazon, but mostly thanks to the 3.0-inch woofer, dual-firing tweeters, and Dolby processing included. Amazon says the Dolby processing will add ‘clear highs, dynamic-mids, and deep bass’.
The all new Echo will be available in three colors: charcoal, Glacier White, and steel blue for $199 AUD – and you can check it out on Amazon.com.au now.
The new Echo Dot is also spherical, and comes in two editions – Echo Dot, and Echo Dot with Clock.
The obvious difference between the two is the inclusion of the LED clock on the front of the ‘With Clock’ model. The Echo Dot with Clock can display an array of information including time, temperature, timers, and alarms.
The new Echo Dot line includes a powerful 1.6-inch, front-firing speaker. The Echo Dot will also now come with the tap to silence feature from the Echo Dot with Clock.
It’s priced at $79 AUD for the Echo Dot which is online now, and $99 AUD for the Echo Dot with Clock which is also online now. The Echo Dot comes in a choice of three colours: Charcoal, Glacier White, and Twilight Blue.
Echo Dot with Kids
Amazon has also made a child version of the Echo Dot with cute fun, colorful Panda and Tiger designs printed on the fabric covering – though Amazon Australia has confirmed this will not arrive in Australia.
The Echo Dot with Kids will have a new custom-built Alexa kids experience, which Amazon says will let ‘kids can ask Alexa questions, set animal sound alarms, get help with homework, and call approved friends and family, with extensive controls that give parents peace of mind’.
The Echo Dot with Kids will cost $59.99 USD and come with a choice of either Panda or Tiger designs – but as above, the Echo Dot with Kids will not be launching in Australia.
Echo Show 10
Amazon also unveiled a new Echo Show 10 smart display powered by Alexa, with a promise of rolling out Netflix support to all Echo Show devices.
The big news for the Echo Show 10 is that it now follows you as you move around the room. A completely silent brushless motor will position the Echo Show 10 to keep you in view, no matter where you are.
As the name suggests, the Echo Show has a 10-inch display which is ‘HD’ in resolution, and includes a 13MP webcam for video conferencing to utilise that new movement motor. The smart display also includes dual, front-firing tweeters and powerful woofer.
Echo Show comes in two colour options: Charcoal and Glacier White and will cost $249.99 USD with no AU pricing available on their website as yet, but it is ‘coming soon’.
Amazon showed off a new Fire TV and Fire TV Lite streaming stick at the event, as well as a new Fire TV UI, which Amazon says is ‘more intuitive, simple, and customized experience’.
The new Fire TV includes HD streaming which supports 1080p at 60fps, as well as Dolby Atmos support and comes with a new Alexa Voice Remote.
The Fire TV gets a bump in specs from a new 1.7 GHz quad-core processor which Amazon says makes it 50% more powerful. The new Fire TV also supports 5 GHz networks with a new dual-band antenna design and will use 50% less power says Amazon.
The new Fire TV will cost $39.99USD.
The new Fire TV won’t be launching here with Amazon AU head Kate Burleigh advising the existing Fire TV Basic is being made ‘end-of-life’ and replaced with, the Fire TV Lite.
Fire TV Lite
The new Fire TV Stick Lite is lite in name, but Amazon says it’s still 50% more powerful than the previous-generation Fire TV Stick.
The Fire TV Stick Lite includes HDR support, and comes with an Alexa Voice Remote Lite, which is a new remote that Amazon says allows you to use voice to find, launch, and control content.
The Fire TV Lite will cost $59 AUD and is available to pre-order on Amazon already with stock shipping October 6th.
As a subsidiary of Amazon, Ring gets a shoutout in their hardware announcements. There’s a new autonomous drone which will watch your home while you’re away, a mailbox sensor and a move into automotive with their new ‘Ring of Security for Cars’ which includes: Ring Car Alarm, Ring Car Cam, and Ring Car Connect.
Always Home Cam
The Ring ‘Always Home Cam’, is an autonomous security drone for your house. It can automatically patrol your house and then return to its dock to recharge when it’s patrol is complete – or obviously the battery gets too low.
The Ring Always Home Cam will launch for $249.99 USD, though Amazon hasn’t announced availability in Australia.
Ring Car alarm
Ring Car Alarm is a low-cost device for protecting your car. The device will plug into the ODB-II diagnostic port in your car and will alert you in the event of bumps, break-ins, tows, and more. Alers will come through the Ring App when an event triggers.
The Ring Car Alarm will set you back $59.99 USD when it launches.
Ring Car Cam
Amazon is getting into Dash Cams really with this announcement of an always connected Ring Car Cam.
The Ring Car Cam will actively monitor for bumps and attempted break-ins using intelligent sensors. Alerts are sent to the app, with the Ring Car Cam able to connect to Wifi, or you can connect an optional LTE plan and have it connect any time.
Once alerts are sent out you can login to the camera remotely on your device to check in and see what is happening in and around the vehicle.
Ring Car Cam will sell for $199.99 USD when it goes on-sale
Ring Car Connect
As part of the new Car device announcement, Ring also announced Ring Car Connect, an ‘API for car manufacturers that allows customers to receive mobile alerts for detected events, watch recorded vehicle video footage, and see important vehicle information such as if the car is locked or unlocked’.
Tesla is on board for the Ring Car Connect service, with Tesla models 3, X, S, and Y able to view Sentry mode in their Ring app.
Ring Car Connect will cost $199.99 USD – but no information on whether that’s per year or a one-off fee.
For those with a mailbox not in sight of the house, the Ring Mailbox Sensor is probably for you.
You can install a Ring Mailbox Sensor in an existing mailbox, which will then send alerts to your Ring app or Alexa-enabled devices when mail arrives or when the mailbox is opened.
Ring will sell the Mailbox Sensor for $29.99 USD when it goes on-sale.
Eero too is a subsidiary of Amazon and got their own announcement which is the new Eero 6 and Eero Pro 6 mesh routers.
The Eero 6 and Eero Pro 6 will include support for Wi-Fi 6, as well as including a built-in Zigbee Smart Home Hub and of course support for Alexa.
Eero 6 supports Dual-band wifi on 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, while the Eero 6 Pro is a tri-band router that offers a single band for tech that connects via 2.4GHz and dual 5GHz bands.
A single Eero 6 will cover up to 1,500 feet, while a single Eero 6 Pro will cover up to 2,000 feet. Eero 6 will cost $129.99, while the Eero Pro 6 will cost $229.99
Finally, Amazon announced Luna, their new cloud streaming service which is looking to take on the might of Microsoft’s XCloud, as well as Nvidia’s Geforce Now and Google’s Stadia services.
Luna will include over 100 games on debut including Rime, GRID, Panzer Dragon and more. Developer Ubisoft will be offering a ‘channel’ on the service with their own games like Assassins Creed Valhalla, Far Cry 6, and Immortals Fenyx Rising and more.
The Luna+ service will cost $5.99 USD per month to access, and users will be able to jump on on Fire TV, PC, and Mac as well as on web apps for iPhone and iPad, with Android coming soon.
Just like the other services though, Amazon’s Luna game streaming service is only available in the US at launch. Amazon Australia head Kate Burleigh advised there is no plan to launch Luna in Australia ‘anytime soon’.