Amazon Devices Event — September 2018 [Roundup]

10:05am — Let’s begin. We’ve got 70 things to talk about.

There are more than 20,000 Alexa-compatible devices from more than 3,500 brands for customers to choose from today.

Products

Echo Dot — There’s a brand new mic array that gives it better performance. The driver is now much larger — we went from a 1.1” driver to a 1.6” driver so we can deliver more powerful sound with lower distortion and enhanced bass reproduction. And, we’re now driving the speaker with more power, which helps us increase the overall max volume. The new Echo Dot is now 70 percent louder.

Echo Input — the first Echo device without a speaker that adds Alexa voice control to your favorite speakers via a 3.5mm audio cable or Bluetooth. It has a four-microphone array so you can talk to Alexa from across the room. Echo Input is just 12.5mm tall, it’s incredibly thin and disappears into the room. ($34.99).

Echo Sub —Add rich bass to your Echo music experience. You can connect Echo Sub in a 2.1 or 1.1 pairing to an Echo or Echo Plus.

Echo Plus — More powerful sound the bass feels stronger and the sound is clearer. And, with the equalizer feature, you can use your voice to adjust the bass and treble to customize your listening experience. An integrated temperature sensor is included, so you can trigger routines based on how cool or hot it is in a room. For example, if it reaches 75 degrees in the living room, Alexa will automatically turn on the fan.

Echo Link — designed to connect to a receiver or amplifier, with multiple digital and analog inputs and outputs for compatibility with your existing stereo equipment, and lets you control music selection, volume, and multi-room playback on your stereo with your Echo or the Alexa app. Echo Link will be available to customers soon. (It will be available to customers soon)

Echo Link Amp — has a built-in 60W 2-channel amplifier, multiple digital and analog inputs and outputs for compatibility with your existing stereo equipment, and lets you control music selection, volume, and multi-room playback on your stereo with your Echo or the Alexa app. It will be available to customers soon. (It will be available to customers soon)

Amazon Smart plug — Embodiment of how Frustration Free Setup works. Introducing, the Amazon Smart Plug. The first device to ship with Wi-Fi Simple Setup. ($24.99)

AmazonBasics Microwave — Brings the simplicity and convenience of voice to a compact countertop microwave. The team started with the most popular appliance that’s out there today. It’s also one of the hardest devices to integrate with — if you’ve ever tried to use your phone by the microwave, you know what I mean. comes with a built-in Ask Alexa button and Dash Replenishment service. ($59.99)

Echo Wall Clock — an Echo companion device that helps keep you and your family organized at home. Customers love timers, alarms, and reminders and Echo Wall Clock makes these features even better. Just like the AmazonBasics Microwave, the Echo Wall Clock uses Bluetooth to connect to a customer’s Echo device. You never have to worry about Daylight Savings with the Echo Wall Clock. ($29.99)

Ring Stick Up Cam — both wired and battery options. This is beautiful. It comes in black and white and works great indoors and out. Indoors, neighbors will be able to use the new Ring Stick Up Cams with Ring Alarm to provide an extra layer of security inside the home. ($179.99)

New Echo Show — Completely redesigned with a high resolution 10-inch HD display, a smart home hub, and improved sound quality. This has been completely redesigned with new systems for everything. The first being the sound system. There are dual, side-firing 2” Neodymium drivers, a passive bass radiator and Dolby processing to deliver expansive stereo sound with deep, powerful lows and crisp highs, perfect for listening to your favorite music. ($229.99)

Fire TV Recast — allows you to watch your favorite live TV content from anywhere. It is a companion DVR that lets you watch, record, and replay free over-the-air programming to any Fire TV, Echo Show, and on compatible Fire tablet and mobile devices. Stream live TV anywhere from shows to local news, sports, and more from stations like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, and The CW. You can record up to two or four shows at once, and stream on any multiple devices at a time. Even over-the-air shows can go with you on-the-go.

Echo Auto — It has an eight-microphone array that is designed specifically to handle noise in the car. So, even when there’s construction, or you’re cranking up the music with the air conditioning on high, Echo Auto can hear your requests.


Services

FreeTime Unlimited on Alexa Starting with podcasts for kids — including popular ones like Story Pirates and Ear Snacks. By the end of next month there will be more than 1,000 Audible books available through FreeTime Unlimited on Alexa.

Routines for Kids Alexa Routines so parents can now easily create Routines for the family using simple templates. So when you say “Alexa, good night,” Alexa will say a nice message that you can customize, turn off the lights, and start sleep sounds.

Alexa Multi-Room Music available to all device makers — so if you have an Echo in the kitchen, a Polk Command Bar in the living room, and a Harmon Kardon Allure in the entry, you can add all of them to a single group and play music everywhere.

Alexa Whisper Mode — If you whisper to her, she whispers back — a step towards more nuanced sentiment/situational awareness — we tend to naturally find equilibrium in tone, loudness, pacing when talking with others — #VoiceFirst interactions will one day do the same

Local voice control — No Wi Fi? No problems. What happens when the internet goes out? Your light switches still work and so too should a hub. So, we’ve taken the best of our cloud-based NLU and ASR, and we’ve made it local to the Echo Plus. So, you can still turn on your lights when the internet is down. We’ve started with some of the most-used controls like lights, and over time, we’ll expand to more.

Amazon Wi-Fi Locker Lets customers re-use network credentials to setup a new device. We’ve been using this with Amazon Devices for a few years, and customers have securely stored more than 100 million Wi-Fi credentials in the locker.

Wi-Fi Simple Setup — Helps customers seamlessly connect new Wi-Fi devices in their homes. So how does this work? You plug in the Wi-Fi Simple Setup enabled device, and it immediately looks for the Wi-Fi Simple Setup Network. Once it receives the encrypted credentials, it securely connects to the network. And, all of that happens in less than thirty seconds.

New capabilities for our smart home APIs V4 takes everything we’ve done with previous versions of these APIs and extends it down to the primitive level so developers can make any device work with Alexa, even those that haven’t been invented yet.

Alexa Connect Kit includes a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE module that contains software — written and managed by Amazon — that automatically and securely connects to Amazon-managed cloud services. This means that device makers can focus on what they’re great at without worrying about OTAs, security, metrics.

Alexa Hunches — Now, the with state of the art AI, we can build a deep neural network that begins to replicate a human being’s hunch. We’ve been testing that in the labs for a while now, and it turns out it’s incredibly delightful. So now when you say “Alexa, set an alarm” or “Alexa, good night” — and millions of customers do this — every once in a while, Alexa will have a hunch — you left your lights on, your back door is unlocked. We’re just getting started. Like all things, this feature will get better and smarter over time.

Away Mode Lighting Uses machine learning algorithms to intelligently turn smart lights on and off, in patterns that seem natural, to deter intruders by making it look like someone is home. It’s great.

Doorbell support to Echo Show and Echo Spot — Ring and August already support this capability, and we’re making it available broadly through the latest Smart Home Camera API. Not only will you be able to see who is at your front door, but you’ll also be able to talk with them. “Alexa talk to the front door camera.”

Doorbell Chime Announcements You’ll hear a chime on all of your Echo devices when someone presses your smart doorbell.

Opening up the communications API to third-party developers — Skype will be the first partner to use these APIs. With this integration, we’re expanding the global network of contacts that Alexa customers can reach to the hundreds of millions of people using Skype around the world. Customers can also enjoy Skype’s low-cost calling package.

Alexa Presentation Language — enables developers and designers to build new and rich visual Alexa skills that include graphics, images, slideshows, video and more. While it’s a new language, developers and designers will find APL familiar. If you can code in HTML, you can code with Alexa Presentation Language.

Alexa Smart Screen Device SDK — an all-new SDK that gives device makers the ability to bring visual, show-like experiences to screen-based products like smart displays, televisions, and 2-in-1 tablets.

11:29 am — That’s a wrap. Thanks so much for joining us.

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Also check out my Alexa Skills! Techno Lingo and Beau’s Brewery

Mike Shoss, CSM SPM

Written by

4x Founder, most recently ShossX, a Startup Mentorship & Investment firm. Lover of Voice, IoT and Green Energy.

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