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Featured Amazon Grows Its Echo Family, Putting Alexa Almost Everywhere

Discussion in 'General Smart Home Discussion' started by Julio Urquidi, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. Julio Urquidi

    Julio Urquidi News Editor

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2016
    Messages:
    244
    amazon-new-echo.jpg
    Amazon today significantly expanded its options for getting its Alexa AI terminals into every room of your home. Aside from adding several new Alexa features, Amazon is also introducing a whole set of Echo-related smart home products, including the Echo Spot, Echo Plus, all-new Echo, Echo Connect, and Echo Button.

    Already at over 25,000 skills, Alexa is getting updated with several new features to help smoothen out its operations and interoperability with other smart home products.
    • New Alexa Routines lets owners create an automated series of actions issued from a single voice command. For example, “Alexa, good night” can initiate several devices to respond in an orchestrated fashion, turning off lights, setting alarms, and locking doors.
    • The Smart Groups feature logically combines devices so they all work under a single command, as opposed to having them triggered separately, one at a time.
    • The recently introduced Alexa Calling and Messaging feature adds support for making outbound phone calls to numbers within the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Calling someone can now be a voice-command initiated action based on information found in one’s own contact list. For phone numbers not available in a contact list, Amazon is also adding voice dialing functionality.
    Across the board, the Echo line of smart home products will be getting Amazon’s second generation far-field technology that adds improved wake-word processing and improved noise cancellation.
    • The all-new Echo gets updated in several ways. It is more compact in size and shape than its predecessor, will be available in charcoal, sandstone, heather gray, oak veneer, walnut veneer, and silver textures, and will include a new speaker architecture that includes a 2.5” tweeter and a downward firing subwoofer.
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    • Echo Plus will have a built-in Zigbee smart hub that detects Alexa-compatible devices when given the appropriate verbal command. Echo Plus will also include omni-directional Dolby-processed audio for cleaner sound.
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    • Echo Spot is a smaller-sized Echo device that includes an LCD display, a front facing camera, and an audio-out to connect to home entertainment systems, and Bluetooth.
    • Echo Connect, one of several upcoming Alexa accessories, turns Echo products into hands-free speakerphones. Compatible with landline and VoIP phones, outgoing calls will display caller ID numbers on the receiver’s end, while incoming caller’s name will get announced out loud, giving the Echo owner the option to answer the phone.
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    • Echo Buttons are new accessories designed for interactive games and activities that use Alexa. Available in sets of two, they will be released along with several new Alexa skills for the holidays.
    Availability and pricing (when applicable) for the new Alexa/Echo products are as follows:
    • Alexa Routines/Smart Homes – Available starting October
    • Alexa Calling and Messaging Update – Available now
    • All-New Echo – Pre-orders available now, shipping in October; $99.99
    • Echo Plus – Pre-orders available now, shipping in October; $149.99
    • Echo Spot – Pre-orders available now, shipping in December; $149.99
    • Echo Connect – Available later this year; $35.99
    • Echo Buttons – Available later this year; $19.99 for a two-pack
     
  2. System Error Message

    System Error Message Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
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    cant wait till the news comes out about alexa used for hacking/illegal data gathering or failure to function in mission critical situations.
     
  3. FatherLandDescendant

    FatherLandDescendant Regular Contributor

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    Kentucky
    Mission criticalo_O The most critical mission I give Alexa is turning off the light when I get into bed:p
     
  4. System Error Message

    System Error Message Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
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    "goodnight alexa" - does not lock the door and place gets robbed-
     
  5. FatherLandDescendant

    FatherLandDescendant Regular Contributor

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Yea I don't like even the thought of electronic locks at all. Anyone who puts something so important ("mission critical") into Alexa's loving care is short a few brain cells.
     

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