Amazon is taking the wraps off of a slew of new devices.
During a pop-up event at its Seattle headquarters, the tech giant unveiled a brand new version of its Echo Dot, which features big boosts to its sound quality – broadcasting sounds at 70 percent louder volumes.
The revamped Echo Dot, which the firm said is it’s best-selling speaker ever, is expected to begin shipping next month and costs the same as prior versions at $49.99.
Amazon also revealed an Alexa-powered microwave, which lets users heat up their food hands-free.
The microwave is priced at $60 and will start shipping later this year.
Buyers must already own an Alexa-equipped speaker to take advantage of voice commands.
Alongside the microwave, Amazon announced a new Echo Show, Echo Plus, Amazon Smart Plug, Echo ‘Input,’ in-car gadget, amplifier, subwoofer, a wall clock and a slew of other Alexa-equipped accessories.
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Amazon unveiled a new $60 Alexa-powered microwave (left) and a revamped $50 Echo Dot (right). The Echo Dot will begin shipping next month and the microwave will ship later this year
WHAT DID AMAZON ANNOUNCE AT ITS HARDWARE EVENT?
- Alexa-powered microwave – $60, ships later this year
- Upgraded Echo Show – $230, ships next month
- Upgraded Echo Plus – $150, ships next month
- Upgraded Echo Dot – $50, ships next month
- Echo Input – $35, ships later this year
- Amazon Smart Plug – $25, ships next month
- Echo Wall Clock – $30, ships later this year
- Fire TV Recast – $230, ships later this year
- Echo Auto – $49, by invite only
The microwave is compact and can fit right on your counter-top, according to Amazon.
Users simply press an Alexa button on the microwave and give it a cooking command, such as ‘two minutes and 30 seconds on medium.’ The microwave will then start cooking.
‘The AmazonBasics Microwave includes dozens of quick-cook voice presets, so you can cook just by asking Alexa,’ the firm explained.
In a demo, Amazon’s head of devices Dave Limp cooked a potato using the device, which can even figure out how long to microwave something without a specific command.
Amazon’s screen-equipped Echo Show also got a major upgrade.
The company said it’s been ‘completely redesigned’ with a bigger screen and a better sound system that produces deeper basses and crisper highs, making it ‘perfect for listening to your favorite music.’
At 10 inches, the HD display is twice as large as the original Echo Show. It also features an 8-mic array, Amazon’s ‘most powerful mics ever.’
Amazon’s screen-equipped Echo Show also got a major upgrade. It features a bigger screen and a better sound system that produces deeper basses and crisper highs
The redesigned Echo Show also lets users explore the web with Firefox and Amazon’s Silk browser.
Amazon is bringing internet connectivity to the kitchen in other ways, with the new Smart Plug, which costs $25.
It allows users to plug items directly into it and automatically syncs with an Echo device.
From there, users can control a variety of gadgets using just their voice. In a demo, Limp showed off the Smart Plug controlling a smart lamp.
Plus, Amazon says setup of the device only takes a matter of seconds.
It’s available for pre-order starting Thursday and will start shipping next month.
The Echo Plus features a new design, improved bass, and a built-in temperature sensor, among other things.
Amazon is bringing internet connectivity to the kitchen in other ways, with the Smart Plug, which costs $25. Users plug items directly into it and automatically syncs with an Echo device
What’s more, users can even check the time or turn on their lights even when the internet is down, thanks to new cloud-based capabilities.
Amazon says the Echo Plus is available for pre-order today and will begin shipping in October.
Alexa is also coming to the clock with Amazon’s new Echo wall clock.
The device can be used to set timers, with LED lights that tick down as time runs out and flashes when the timer expires.
‘You never have to worry about daylight savings,’ Limp said. ‘The motor will automatically change.’
Echo wall clock goes for $29.99 and will ship later this year.
Amazon is also bringing Alexa to the car with the launch of Echo Auto. The firm explained that it has an ‘eight-microphone array’ that enables the device to cut through ambient noise and pick up your voice.
‘So, even when there’s construction, or you’re cranking up the music with air conditioning on high, Echo Auto can hear your requests,’ Amazon said.
Alexa is also coming to the clock with Amazon’s new Echo wall clock. It can be used to set timers, with LED lights that tick down as time runs out and flashes when the timer expires
Adding to its lineup of speaker accessories, Amazon announced a six-inch subwoofer, called the Echo Sub, which adds additional bass when you play music from an Echo device
‘…One of the nice things is that it boots incredibly quickly. Get in the car, hit ignition, within a few seconds, it’s ready to go.’
Also unveiled was Amazon’s new Echo Sub, which adds ‘rich bass to your Echo music experience.’
Amazon says you can pair it with Echo speakers and improve music quality using the newly launched Echo Link Amp and Amazon Echo Link.
The Echo Link connects to either an amplifier or a receiver, as well as your existing stereo equipment and lets users control their music selection, volume, multi-room playback and more.
Amazon said the Echo Link Amp will be available for $199 later this year, while the Echo Link costs $299 and ships early next year.
Adding to its lineup of speaker accessories, Amazon announced a six-inch subwoofer, called the Echo Sub, which adds additional bass when you play music from an Echo device.
Finally, the Echo Input will add Alexa to any existing speakers, microphones, and Bluetooth devices. The Echo Input costs $35 and ships later this year.
Previous Echo devices have only featured the ability to group speakers, not pair them together for stereo audio.
Amazon announced the Echo Link Amp (left) and the Echo Link (right). The Echo Link Amp will be available for $199 later this year, while the Echo Link costs $299 and ships early next year
Alexa is already linked up with several devices in the smart home market, ranging from voice-controlled thermostats, coffee makers, light bulbs and many more items.
But Amazon has signaled that it wants Alexa to be in more places than just your bedroom or living room.
It previously announced a partnership with home construction company Lennar to include two Echo speakers in new homes and offered at-home visits from Amazon technicians.
‘We want customers to be able to use Alexa wherever they are,’ Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in the firm’s most recent earnings report.
‘There are now tens of thousands of developers across more than 150 countries building new devices using the Alexa Voice Service, and the number of Alexa-enabled devices has more than tripled in the last year.’