The Amazon Echo device set the stage for voice control in the home. Since that smart speaker hit the market a few years ago, manufacturers have developed new smart speaker designs, providing consumers greater variety and new ways to bring voice control into the home. Building off the popularity of the original Echo tower, followed by the Dot, Tap, and Show, Amazon has released five new products for even greater selection: a smaller Amazon Echo, as well as completely new styles including the Echo Plus, Echo Spot, and Echo Buttons.
Smaller, More Stylish Amazon Echo
There was nothing really wrong with the way the Amazon Echo looked, but there’s always room for improvement. The new Echo is significantly smaller than the first and can be covered with a fabric sleeve in heather gray, charcoal, or sandstone. If you prefer shinier finishes, you can order an Echo in oak, sliver, or walnut.
Echo Plus Features Built-In Hub for Smart Home Control
Echo Plus has a built-in hub that seamlessly connects and controls compatible smart devices like light bulbs, door locks, switches, and plugs. Customers can use Echo Plus to switch on the lamp across the room, turn on the fan or heater, dim the lights from the couch, or lock the front door from their bedroom. Setting up new smart home devices involves saying, “Alexa, find my devices,” and Alexa is ready to control compatible smart home devices immediately.
Echo Spot Features a Built-in Screen
The Echo Spot can do everything Amazon’s other smart speakers can do, but with a twist. It sports a super compact design plus a built-in circular screen. Why the screen? You can conduct free domestic video calls, watch short news briefings, see lyrics, choose clock faces, and set photo backgrounds.
All-New Fire TV Streams 4K Ultra HD and Camera Footage
Promoted as being faster and more powerful than the Amazon Fire TV Stick, the new Fire TV features a 4K Ultra HD and HDR streaming media experience with a portable form factor that fits behind your TV.
Soon, Fire TV users will be able to use their voice to rewind, fast forward, and access in-app content directly and control smart home-enabled lights, thermostats, and other compatible devices. Customers can also ask Alexa to play music, display camera feeds, check the weather, and more.
Another great feature: customers to use their Fire TV (the original and the new version) to view live video feeds from compatible smart home cameras by simply saying, “Alexa, show my kitchen camera” to their Fire TV remote or paired Echo device.
Alexa Buttons—A Gamer’s Delight
Echo Buttons deliver a new way for customers to play games with friends and family. They are still a concept until people start developing skills for the product, but given the volume of skills available for Amazon’s voice-enabled products, you can bet there will be plenty to make this a fun product to stuff in a stock. To start, developers can build interactive game skills for Echo Buttons such as multiplayer trivia games, sequence and pattern matching games, and more. Developers in the U.S., U.K., and Germany can sign up to be notified when the tools become available.