NEW AMAZON ECHO DEVICES
NEW AMAZON ECHO DEVICES
By: Shaan Desai
Recently, Amazon held a surprise event where they released a multitude of new products with their voice assistant, Alexa, built in. Below, are some of the most exciting products from this event.
New Amazon Echo Plus
Last year, Amazon released the Echo Plus, which was essentially an Echo with many smart home features built in. This year, they have updated this popular device with a fresh new fabric look and a temperature sensor built in. This allows the Echo Plus to integrate with many other smart home devices, such as smart thermostats and the smart plug mentioned below.
Amazon Smart Plug
Rather than buy completely new, expensive smart home devices, why not just make your existing devices smart. The new Amazon Smart Plug plugs into any outlet, and lets you plug in a device such as a lamp into its own socket. After setting up the smart plug, you can now control your lamp or other non-smart device through Alexa or through your phone.
Most of the existing Echo devices cost a lot, but the tiny Echo Input will only cost $35. Rather than being its own speaker, the Input connects to a speaker via Bluetooth or an aux cable. If you already have a speaker and want to save money on an Echo, this is the one to buy.
AmazonBasics Alexa Microwave
Out of all the products that Amazon announced, this is by far the most unexpected. The AmazonBasics Alexa Microwave is a $70 microwave that has – you guessed it – Alexa built in. However, the Alexa in this device can only be used for microwaving purposes, and you have to press a button to activate her. It seems a little counterintuitive to say “Alexa, stop” rather than pressing a button, but it’s still pretty cool to have a microwave that can talk to you.
Also revealed at Amazon’s event is the new Echo Auto. Many car manufacturers such as Ford have tried to fit Alexa in their cars, but it hasn’t worked very well. Amazon is trying to get Alexa in cars using the Echo Auto. The Echo Auto connects to your phone and car via Bluetooth and allows you to use Alexa in your car as long as your phone has cellular service. Also, if you ask Alexa for directions, she’ll pull up the Maps app on your phone, allowing you to essentially use your phone as a car screen.
Amazon revealed a lot of cool new Alexa-enabled tech at their event. From the Alexa Microwave to the Echo Auto, there was no shortage of Echo devices. What did you think about these devices? We’d love to hear your thoughts at pinoakpress.org.