Every year, Amazon holds an event where it announces a litany of new devices at once. 2020 is no different, but instead of having it in their Seattle headquarters, the company is making its announcements to a small number of media invitees via video briefing that starts today at 1PM ET. Not to worry however, because we’ll be there and we’ll be sure to update this post when it happens. Whether it be new Echos, new Ring devices or simply just more Alexa gear, expect a whole lot of Amazon news.
All-new Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Dot Clock
The new Echo has a whole new, spherical look. The Echo Dot and Echo Dot Clock will have a round shape as well. They will come in a new fabric finish too, with three different colors (Charcoal, Glacier White, Twilight Blue). It has many of the same smart hub features of the Echo Plus as well as compatibility with Amazon Sidewalk, the company’s own smart home tech. It will cost $100, the same as last year’s Echo.
The company says that it’s made out of 100 percent post-consumer recycled fabric and 100 percent recycled die-cast aluminum. According to Amazon, the new Echo Dot will have better sound quality, with a 1.6-inch front-firing speaker. The Echo Dot will be available for pre-order today for $50 while the Echo Dot with clock will cost $60. There’s also an Echo Dot Kids model that will come in cute animal faces. It comes with a year’s worth of Amazon Kids+ that gives you access to kid-friendly audiobooks, games and more.
Like the Echo Studio, the new Echo can supposedly tune itself according to your room to determine the best sound quality. It comes with the AZ1 Neural Edge processor and machine learning smarts, which should hopefully lead to better speech recognition. All of the new Echos will also have low power mode, which is also set to roll out to existing devices.
In addition to new Echos, Amazon also announced Guard Plus, which is a premium version of its Guard service that transforms your Echo into a home security device. It can deter intruders by playing warning sounds and send a notification if someone is nearby. Amazon will roll out Guard Plus this fall. The first month of service is free, and it’ll cost $49 a year or $5 a month after that. However, the price is bundled with Ring Protect Plus at no extra cost.
Eero 6 and Eero Pro 6
As predicted, Amazon has also announced new WiFi 6 Eero routers, the Eero 6 and the Eero Pro 6. The Eero 6 is the slightly domed model while the Eero Pro 6 has the slightly square shape of the original Eero. A single Eero 6 is $130 while an Eero Pro 6 is $230. As with previous Eeros, Amazon will also sell them in two and three packs to spread WiFi more efficiently throughout your home. According to Amazon, the new Eeros can connect 75-plus devices simultaneously, Eero’s “TrueMesh” WiFi technology, and it can also double as a Zigbee smart home hub. Each unit also has a USB-C port plus two auto-sensing Gigabit ports.
Ring Car Alarm and Ring Car Cam
Ring has come out with a new Car Alarm which plugs into your vehicle’s OBD port, letting it push alerts to your phone should your car detect a break-in. You can even hit a button on your phone to trigger a siren. Ring is also selling a dash camera. The Car Cam will let you monitor (and watch) for bumps and break-ins, with real-time alerts and footage, which sounds very similar to the Owlcam. It also has Emergency Crash Assist that will call emergency services when it detects an accident. Interestingly, you can also say “Alexa, I’m being pulled over” to instruct the camera to record an interaction. The Ring Car Alarm will cost $60, while the Car Cam and Car Connect (for Tesla vehicles) are both priced at $200.
Ring Always Home Cam
Amazon also announced a new Ring camera that can actually fly around your home to offer multiple points of view. Yes, it doubles as a security drone. In addition to watching over your home, you can also use it to see if you left a window or door open. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to manually control it (so it’s not quite like a DJI rival or anything). Instead, it has to be programmed to fly in preordained flight paths, going from room to room. You’ll be able to view what’s going on via a live feed in the Ring app.
According to Amazon, its blades are shrouded and has collision-avoidance tech so that it can fly around tight spaces. In order to protect your privacy, Amazon says the drone is designed to hum loudly while in flight to let people know it’s filming. The camera is also obscured when docked in the base. It’ll cost $250 when it goes on sale in 2021.
Ring has also introduced a new Mailbox Sensor, which, well, attaches to your mailbox. The Mailbox Sensor will be available to pre-order on October 8th for $30.
Amazon Echo Show 10
The new Echo Show 10 now has a “smart follow” camera similar to Facebook’s Portal. It can kind of follow your movements in the room, thanks to a new audio “beamforming” technology as well as computer vision. According to Amazon, “while you’re interacting with Alexa, the device uses these sound localization and computer vision models to triangulate in and turn the screen directly to face you. Alexa is not identifying a specific person, just a human shape.” Other features include Group Calling and a new feature called Amazon Chime. While Amazon already had Hulu on the Echo Show, but now it has added Netflix as well. The Echo Show 10 costs $250 and will be available soon.
Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite
The all-new Fire TV Stick has an enhanced processor, HDR compatibility plus Dolby Atmos. It also comes with the Alexa remote. It’ll be out later this year for $40. The Fire TV Stick Lite on the other hand is $29.99. It has full-HD and HDR and comes with Alexa Voice Remote Lite.
Luna gaming streaming service
Amazon has also launched a new gaming streaming service called Luna as a competitor to xCloud and Stadia, and it comes with Twitch integration. It will support Fire TV, PC, Mac and iOS devices at first, with Android coming later. Amazon also built a low-latency Alexa-enabled Luna controller which will be available for $50 during early access. The gamepad will connect directly to the cloud.
The company says that cloud gaming will be up to 4K and 60fps, but it might be capped to 1080p and 60fps in early days. The Luna subscription service is $6 a month and will feature around 50 games during early access. A few early titles include Control, Resident Evil 7, Tacoma, Metro Exodus and The Sexy Brutale.
Here’s our closer look at the service.