AmazonBasics Microwave works with Alexa to take your voice commands
Sep 21 2018 by Kate Woods
The small disc-shaped speaker has "a brand new mic array that gives it better performance". Amazon has also added a built-in Ask Alexa button to directly instruct Alexa to cook for you. So much of smart home tech is just intelligently knowing when to turn something on and off, so adding some brains to the conduit that provides power just makes sense. Recently, Amazon has rolled out a new update on the Alexa app.
The Echo Dot, which Amazon says is its most popular speaker, is now 70 percent louder and has the fabric (Google Home-style) covering which you can see in the image above.
The Echo Link and the Echo Link Amp: For those of you with existing in-ceiling speakers or an existing AV set up, Amazon is announcing the Link and Link Amp so you can hear Alexa over those speakers. Earlier this week, in fact, it announced a deal with Audi: the new e-tron electric SUV will have Alexa integrated so that you don't even need a smartphone. The company has slightly redesigned the Echo Dot, which it calls "the best selling speaker ever". Once the initial setup is complete, Amazon says drivers will simply need to start their vehicle and the Echo Auto will be ready to respond "within just a few seconds". It will be rolling out related some software updates to Echo users over the next few weeks. Routines will also support delayed actions, too: you could have the lights stay on for a set period after you leave the house, and only then shut off.
For parents, Alex can start getting kids to bed with "Routines for Kids".
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The Echo Sub: The Amazon Alexa subwoofer is here and it will cost $129.99. The first physical design, a matte black cylinder, was uninspired, but the always-on speaker and Alexa resonated with consumers. "Now with Fire TV Recast, we've made it simpler to find, watch, and record live over-the-air TV at home and on your mobile devices".
Other companies have tried to imitate Amazon's success. The speaker itself comes with a squarish shape and it has a design that's a bit reminiscent of the Google Home Max, but it is not as large.
Still, the market for voice-activated speakers pales in comparison with smartphones, where most people interact, according to Strategy Analytics.