Amazon’s fall hardware event: the 13 biggest announcements

Amazon just wrapped up its fall hardware event, and it was packed with a number of big announcements. There are a number of new Echo devices, such as a spherical redesign of the tried-and-true Echo. Amazon also showed off improvements for Alexa, including new security features. We saw a bunch of new Ring devices — one of which was a drone that can autonomously fly around inside your home. And Amazon finally took the wraps off its long-rumored cloud gaming service, Luna.

If you want the play-by-play, check out our live blog with commentary from Dieter Bohn and Nilay Patel. And if you want the rundown of the biggest news from the show, check it out right here:

Amazon showed off a totally redesigned Echo with a new spherical look. It has Zigbee support, functions as an Amazon Sidewalk bridge, and has “premium, adaptive sound” from Dolby. It will cost $99 and will release on October 22nd.

Amazon has also brought the new look to the smaller Echo Dot ($49.99) and Echo Dot with Clock ($59.99). They’re available for preorder today. And new Echo Dot Kids Edition designs have cute panda and tiger designs, and they’ll cost $59.99. They’re also available for preorder today. (The regular Echo Dot ships on October 22nd, while the clock model ships on November 5th.) Alexa can also now recognize and respond to children’s voices with new voice profiles for kids.

Amazon’s new Echo Show 10 smart display is attached to a motorized base that automatically moves to face you as you move around a room and interact with the device. The smart display will cost $249.99, and preorders begin today, although there’s no exact release date yet.

The Echo Show 10 already lets you watch Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, but now it’s getting support for Netflix.

Amazon has finally revealed its AWS-powered cloud gaming service to compete with the likes of Google’s Stadia and Microsoft’s xCloud. It’s called Luna, it’s coming to Fire TV, PC, Mac, and iPhone (via web app) at launch, with support for Android “coming soon.” You can request early access to it today.

Amazon also revealed the Luna Controller, which the company promises will have lower latency when you use it with its “Cloud Direct” technology. You can buy the controller for an introductory price of $49.99 during Luna’s early access period.

Ring is launching the Always Home Cam, an autonomous security drone for your house. It can patrol your home on its own and return to a special dock to charge up its battery. It’s set to cost $249.99 and will ship next year.

Amazon showed off a new Fire TV Stick, which has HD Streaming, Dolby Atmos, and comes with the Alexa Voice Remote. It costs $39.99. There’s also a new Fire TV Stick Lite, which has a simplified Alexa remote and costs a bit less at $29.99. Both will be available on September 30th.

Amazon also took the wraps off a new Fire TV UI, which has a new look and starts from the profile page. The new UI launches later this year.

Image: Amazon

Amazon announced a new set of Wi-Fi routers, the Eero 6 and Eero Pro 6. They support Wi-Fi 6, have a built-in Zigbee Smart Home Hub, and work with Alexa. The Eero 6 will cost $129.99, while the Eero Pro 6 will cost $229.99. They’re available to preorder today and will ship on November 2nd.

Ring announced a set of security cameras for cars: the Car Alarm and Car Cam. They’ll be available next year. The company is also announcing Ring Car Connect, an API that other car manufacturers can use to integrate their car cameras into Ring’s platform.

Ring will offer end-to-end encryption for video footage for free to all users by the end of this year.

Amazon announced the AZ1 Neural Edge, a chip developed alongside MediaTek that will help Alexa respond to voice queries faster by processing them on-device. It’s built into the new Echo Show 10 and will be included in other Echo products in the future.

Amazon showed off a number of machine learning-powered technologies to help Alexa better understand multiple people at once and ask clarifying questions if needed. In one demo, Alexa helped two people ordered a pizza, and it understood when they were talking directly to Alexa and when they were just talking to each other.

Amazon says all new wall-powered Echo devices will have “low power mode”

As part of its efforts to make more sustainable products, Amazon said all new wall-powered Echo devices will have a new “low power mode.” The company said it will come to older Echo devices via a software update. In addition, the company will be rolling out an energy dashboard to help customers understand how much energy their Echo and Alexa devices are using.

The company also announced Alexa Guard Plus, which offers some new features on top of the company’s free Alexa Guard security monitoring system. It costs $4.99 per month.

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