Add Alexa to your hi-fi with Amazon's Echo Link / Amp
Add Alexa to your hi-fi with Amazon's Echo Link / Amp
Amazon shows off microwave, clock, smart plug-in linked by their cloud-based voice service Alexa
22 September, 2018, 18:42
Amazon.com Inc. unveiled its vision for smart homes powered by the Alexa voice assistant, with a dizzying array of new gadgets and features for nearly every room in the house-from a microwave oven to a security camera and wall clock.
The new product, launched under the company's AmazonBasics brand, looks just like a standard microwave but works with Alexa - Amazon's smart-assistant.
Some automakers offer Alexa voice control built-in to their infotainment systems, but for millions of drivers with older vehicles, Echo Auto turns any car into a rolling smart device. It's basically an Echo Dot without a speaker, and relies on a wired or Bluetooth connection with any other speaker to provide audio output. Whatever you plug into the Smart Plug thereby has power controlled by the Smart Plug, which is controlled by Alexa.
Striking out in a different direction of its own Amazon has also introduced a new microwave which comes loaded with "dozens of quick cook voice presets" so you don't have to lift a finger while zapping your spaghetti carbonara. You can just press the button and issue a verbal command, like, "Heat this up for 45 seconds", to get the timer going.
Good news for makers of personal home assistants, but even with Google Home and Alexa, it seems most people aren't yet willing to fully embrace their potential.
The takeaway: Why has it taken so long for affordable kitchen appliances like microwaves to get "smart"? Amazon's Smart Plug simply, er, plugs into any existing outlet and connects to a Wi-Fi network. You'll be able to control them using Alexa voice commands, and they'll have the capability to play music and videos, show cooking recipes and news briefs, among other things. The smart speaker is also available in three colours.
Amazon unveiled a new TV device called Fire TV Recast, which lets you watch and record live TV content and stream it from anywhere via your Fire TV, Echo Show, Fire tablet, or mobile device. That's compared to $229.99 for the Echo Show.
You can set your Echo device to away mode before leaving the house by saying "Alexa, I'm leaving", and Alexa will listen for sounds like breaking glass or smoke or carbon monoxide alarms. The new speaker is also said to be louder and richer.
At the event, Amazon also announced a new device with which it wants to step out of your living rooms and into your cars - the Echo Auto.
It connects to your auto or phone via Bluetooth, and comes with a dashboard mount to stay in place.
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Unlike the Echo and Echo Dot , which are audio-based, the Echo Show features a display, greatly expanding its functionality. The Echo Input does not have a speaker but it adds a microphone that hooks up your existing speaker with Alexa .
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