Amazon Devices Event – September 2019
Echo Frames and Echo Loop will be available in limited volumes by invite only. The invite price reflects our desire to get feedback from customers. Echo Frames will be available for a special price of $179.99 during the invite period. Echo Loop will be $129.99 during the invite period. Both will begin shipping later this year.
The second Day 1 Edition product is called Echo Loop. It’s an Alexa-enabled smart ring packed with ways to stay on top of your day. It has 2 microphones activated by a button tap. With Echo Loop, you'll have more information at your finger tips - literally.
Echo Loop has two-microphones, the smallest speaker ever on an Echo device, and a haptic engine that vibrates discreetly when you receive notifications or an incoming call, or to signal that the button has been pressed and Alexa is streaming your request to the cloud. It’s a ton of technology packed into this small form factor.
Paired with your phone, this ring lets you access information throughout the day. It’s super easy to connect with Alexa without breaking stride or digging out your phone, for those simple things like turning on the lights or calculating the tip on your lunch bill. Simply press a button talk softly to Alexa and then the answer comes discretely through a small speaker built into the ring.
The first Day One Edition product is Echo Frames - Alexa-enabled glasses that let you get more done and be more present. They look like regular prescription glasses (without a prescription, but you can add one), and they’re comfortable, weighing only 31 grams.
They don’t have a camera or display to get in the way—they’re all about all-day access to Alexa on-the-go while keeping your hands, ears, and eyes free to engage with the world around you.
Echo Buds are helpful in so many ways, including shopping. We worked with the Whole Foods team to make this experience really delightful in store. For example, you'll be able to ask Alexa if Whole Foods has canned tomatoes in stock as well as where you can find canned tomatoes.
Echo Buds are available for pre-order starting today for $129.99 and will start shipping in October.
When talking with customers, something came back consistently. Easy-to-use noise reduction was critical. We're excited to be working with Bose to incorporate Bose Active Noise Reduction technology into Echo Buds for customers.
To help you navigate your everyday life, with a double tap, you can turn on and off the noise reduction for pass through mode if you want to clearly hear the world around you.
You can also tap and hold to access your phone’s voice services like Siri or Google Assistant.
Meet Echo Buds, the first Echo wearable to offer customers hands-free access to Alexa, on-the-go. When we set out to build Echo Buds, we looked at what customers would want from earbuds. Excellent sound. To do that, each earbud has two premium, balanced armature drivers, inspired by those used by professional musicians. These deliver crisp, clear vocals, and dynamic bass.
Echo Buds have 5 hours of battery life with just the earbuds and up to 20 hours of battery life with the case.
Today we’re excited to announce a General Motors Alexa integration.
GM is the first automaker to deliver a fully embedded Alexa experience based on the Alexa Auto SDK, and the breadth: Alexa will be available on millions of vehicles across all four GM brands – Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC. The best part is that this isn’t just about brand new vehicles. It’ll also be available to millions of existing vehicles on the road with a simple over-the-air update.
When we looked to bring Alexa beyond the home, the obvious place for us to start was in the car. We’ve spent the last few years making Alexa available in more and more vehicles, whether it’s through Echo Auto, or through integrations with auto makers like Audi, BMW, Ford, and Toyota.
We will be publishing this protocol and allowing the Sidewalk network to be used by things we and other developers make to do secure, over-the-air updates to ensure the software is up to date, one of the biggest problems we face with the Internet of Things.
It is very early days but we are so excited to see what developers will invent using Sidewalk.
As the Sidewalk network grows, it will be useful for keeping track of things. And what better to track than the family dog?
We’re going to build a reference design called Ring Fetch - a dog tracker that will use Sidewalk and ping you if your dog leaves a certain perimeter. This will be coming next year.
As we got to building this idea of this network, we learned that, with just a few access points, very broad coverage becomes available.
We went to Ring HQ to test a few devices, and asked the team how long it would take to get an Amazon Sidewalk network up and running. We sent 700 devices out to employees, friends, and family, and three weeks later, we had the LA Basin - the second largest city in the country - completely covered in three weeks. Because it has such good overlap and range, you get great coverage.
We came up with a concept we call Amazon Sidewalk.
A low bandwidth, highly secure network, that uses the free 900 MHz spectrum to first and foremost extend the distance at which you can control simple, low-cost, edge IoT devices.
We think developers will build all kinds of useful, low-cost products for this network. We started with the obvious use case of lighting with Ring's smart lighting, but think about all the things that are far from your home WiFi that might use Sidewalk—weather stations to tell you how much rain you’ve gotten, a water sensor in your garden with your tomatoes, a little sensor in your mailbox that lets you know when the mail has been delivered. The possibilities are endless.
One of the things we learned from the Alexa Connect Kit is that developers are always looking for new ways to invent for their customers, and that includes pushing the boundaries outside the home. But when we do that, real technology problems come into play. Bluetooth has limited range. WiFi only goes so far. And 5G cellular is incredibly important when you need reliable, long distance, guaranteed delivery of data, but it can be complex. That leaves a middle ground for devices that are looking for low-cost, low-power, low bandwidth connection where battery life needs to be measured in years, not days.
Meet the Amazon Smart Oven a combination microwave, convection oven, air fryer and food warmer that you can control with your voice using compatible Alexa-enabled devices. Just ask Alexa to cook common foods using dozens of presets that have been carefully tested and tuned. Alexa will announce when to stir the food during cooking and let you know when it’s finished.
You can also scan to cook hundreds of packaged foods from your Alexa app. The instructions automatically preload on your oven. Press start and you’re good to go.
The Amazon Smart Oven will be available for $249.99, including an Echo Dot, on presale starting today.
We have extended the Alexa Connect Kit in two ways. First, we added new multi-step capabilities so that devices can feed telemetry to the cloud, make new decisions about operations, and give new instructions to devices—so any device can keep getting smarter just like Alexa. Second, we introduced a new host of cooking capabilities like temperature, preheat your oven, and scan to cook. There are a few devices already that will be using this which will be adopting these APIs. In addition, we wanted to build a reference design to inspire more developers.
This also means that there has never been more diversity in the number of products that have Alexa built in, or products that use the Alexa Connect Kit. Last year, we introduced the AmazonBasics Microwave as an example of what’s possible—we are amazed that even as a reference design, it’s become the best-selling microwave on Amazon.
None of these advancements in smart home would be possible without our community of developers. There are now more than 85,000 Alexa-compatible smart home devices and more than 100,000 Alexa skills. There are now billions of dollars flowing through the Alexa economy—that’s developer only.
And we’re adding an all new product to the lineup - the Ring Indoor Cam, our lowest-cost home security camera.
It’s compact design means you can mount it just about anywhere in the home. It, too, has everything you love about Ring cameras, plus it will have those great modes I mentioned earlier so you can control when it records and when it’s in “Home” mode.
Ring Indoor Cam will be available for just $59.99 and is available today.
From the beginning, customers have loved Ring’s integration of cameras. From their Video Doorbells to Spotlight Cams and Floodlight Cams.
Meet the all-new Stick Up Cam, the most versatile of Ring’s cameras.
It works indoors and outdoors and can run off its battery, plugged into a wall, or from a solar powered accessory. It’s got everything customers love about the original Stick Up Cam—1080p HD video, motion detection, night vision — all for 30% less than the current version.
You can pre-order the All-new Stick Up Cam today, for $99.99.
Many homes have the home security box in their garage or basement, that's no longer in use. Tens of millions of American homes have a security system hub or countless other systems that are installed but out of use. And the last thing we want to do is sell more accessories that customers don’t need.
So, we created the Ring Retrofit Alarm Kit—a DIY kit that customers can connect to an existing security system hub already in their home, so they can use the sensors previously installed in their home and integrate easily with Ring Alarm.
The Alarm Hub and Retrofit Alarm Kit will be available together for $375.99, or just the Retrofit Alarm Kit for only $199.99. Ring Retrofit Alarm Kit will ship in November.
Echo Flex will be a new way to interact with Alexa, and it will also be a great sensor for a Ring home security system.
Ring’s mission has been, from the beginning, about making homes and neighborhoods safer. In the 18 months since Ring became part of the Amazon family, Ring continues to protect millions of customers with more than 4 billion interactions per month.
And we continue to see that when you add security to neighborhoods, it reduces crime.
We came up with Echo Flex, it can be placed throughout your home. It’s compact, cordless, and plugs right into your wall outlet.
Echo Flex has a small speaker—similar to a cell phone—so it’s not optimized for music, but it is optimized for Alexa’s voice. Echo Flex also includes a USB charging port so you can charge your phone, even if you have limited outlets. But that port can also be used for some really fun, useful accessories.
We gave the early interface API to a developer, and our first two accessories will be a motion sensor, perfect for hallways, and a smart nightlight.
We’ll be sharing the specs for these accessories, and hope other 3P developers will build for Flex as well.
Echo Flex is available for pre-order at $24.99, and accessories will be $14.99 each.
And we’re making Guard even more valuable by adding another type of smart alert for sounds of activity. We’ve been working on the science training the local model to understand what sounds are correlated with different activities, so when you put Alexa into Away mode – and only when she’s in Away mode – Alexa can notify you when she detected the likelihood of activity in your home.
We talked about making your home simpler and smarter—it’s also important we make the home safer.
Over the past year, Alexa Guard has had tremendous momentum. Turn on Alexa Guard and she moves into a mode so you get smart alerts when specific sounds are detected, like broken glass like CO alarms. Today, we’re improving Alexa Guard in two ways.
Another way we’re making your home smarter and more proactive is by expanding the ways Alexa can be more conversational. At re:MARS, we spoke about conversational AI and the team wanted to explore how can we bring this to Ring Video Doorbells.
Even though you’re connected to your doorbell all the time through the Ring app, maybe you don’t have you phone or you’re on a stage talking about doorbells. The team has been working on a doorbell concierge feature.
We’re introducing two new types of Alexa Hunches
Alexa will have Hunches about things that need replacing around your house. That might be batteries for your smart locks and security cameras, printer ink and even air purifiers, and even that always seems to run out at the worst time possible.
Alexa will also have Hunches about Routines that you may want to set up based on your daily habits.
For example, if you set your alarm for 6 AM every day and then normally follow that up by asking for the weather and the score of the Cubs game. If you do that a few times, Alexa will understand and suggest that you may want to create a routine. All you have to do is say, “yes,” and the routine will be created.
Certified for Humans and eero WiFi are two ways we’re making your home simpler. We’re also working on ways to make it smarter. One way is to make your home more proactive. One example of that is Hunches.
We launched Hunches last year so Alexa can let you know when something is out of place or left undone – you left your lights on, your back door is unlocked. We’re making a lot of progress on this and getting good feedback from customers.
We’re excited for more customers to experience the magic of eero’s super simple WiFi and we want to make this experience even simpler through Alexa. So we taught Alexa about managing WiFi access.
Instead of unlocking your phone and using an app, or using a dedicated skill, you can now say:
“Alexa, pause the WiFi for dinner,”
“Alexa, turn on the guest WiFi,”
“Alexa, pause the Playstation WiFi.”
We didn’t want to limit this feature to eero, so Alexa customers can use their voice to manage Wi-Fi access on compatible ASUS, and TP-Link routers this fall, and devices from Arris and Linksys starting early next year.
The all-new eero builds on the same simplicity and reliability of the eero Pro and eero Beacon lineup.
eero’s dual band radio and TrueMesh technology combine to give you whole-home WiFi coverage—no more dead zones in your home.
For additional peace of mind, customers can choose optional subscribtions eero Secure or eero Secure+ to safeguard the devices that connect to their networks.
The all-new eero is available today in the US for $99 or $249 for a 3-pack. And eero will be available in Europe in early November.
Another way to make your smart home simpler is with WiFi -- and talking about WiFi, no one is better at this than eero -- that’s why we are so excited that eero became part of the Amazon family earlier this year. They have a mission of building the best, simplest, and most secure WiFi solution in the world.
We’re starting with select smart lights, plugs, and small appliances. What these devices have in common is we certified them based on over a dozen criteria.
A few of the criteria include:
- The product uses Frustration Free Setup
- They have background, silent over the air updates so the software is always up to date
- Customers can set them up with the Alexa app they already have
Let’s start with simpler. Last year, we introduced Frustration Free Setup, and the Amazon Smart Plug. It has a 4.5-star rating and we have sold millions of them. That’s all we need to know that Frustration Free Setup is on the right track for actual humans looking to create a smart home.
Another delightful thing we've seen over the past year is how much kids relate to smart home. They love turning the lights on, and off, and on, and off… They do it because it's fun and delightful. We wanted to make that experience easier and even more fun for kids.
Introducing Echo Glow, a multi-color smart lamp that pairs with Alexa that we think kids are going to love.
Customers will be able to ask Alexa for a flickering campfire light for playtime, a Sleep Timer that gradually dims as bedtime nears, or, coming soon, a dance party with music and lights. They can also set Echo Glow to softly cascade through all the colors of the rainbow or light up with your favorite color.
Echo Glow is available for pre-order in the U.S. at $29.99.
Once connected, parents can say things like, “Alexa, what homework does Chris have tonight?” or “Alexa, how did Sam do on the math test yesterday?” and actually get a real response. And high school and college students can use the skill to check what homework they have and more.
As kids get older, they have a phone, laptop, and sometimes a veiled look of doing homework when parents are asking for school updates.
Through the new Alexa Education Skill API, skill developers that use the backends your kids’ schools might use like Canvas, Kickboard, and Coursera.
Outside of the kitchen, another place we've seen momentum and customer excitement in the last year with Echo is with kids and families. We have a great FreeTime experience on Echo Dot, and we announced new colors, including our Rainbow design earlier this year.
So we're excited to bring a brand new FreeTime experience to Echo Show.
Just like we’ve done with FreeTime on Echo and Echo Dot, we’ve built this experience from the ground up with fun, educational content that kids love, and parental controls that give you peace of mind. And, we don’t do this work alone. We work closely with the Family Online Safety Institute, and other leading industry groups to ensure the experience is great for both kids and parents.
Now, the millions of families that have FreeTime will be able to watch kid-friendly videos, make video calls with parent-approved contacts, and add fun stickers to photos. And, we think kids will love the addition of music lyrics on the screen for sing-a-long parties.
We're excited to see how customers take advantage of this new experience for their families.
Earlier today, Discovery, Inc. and Food Network announced a new cooking product – Food Network Kitchen – and we're thrilled to announce Alexa is their exclusive voice service.
Customers will be able to watch live and on-demand episodes of Food Network TV shows on Echo Show - and when they see a recipe they like, they can just ask Alexa to save that recipe. Additionally, subscribers will be able to watch live and on-demand cooking classes from Food Network's lineup of world-class chefs like Alton Brown or Giada.
To make the experience even more delightful, we worked closely with the teams so that when you're viewing a recipe, Alexa knows the context and details, so you can ask questions about needed ingredients and more to make sure you have everything you need.
Customers love their Echo Show devices, and they've been interacting with them in so many different ways. One of the things customers love most is the ability to use their Echo Show devices to communicate with family and friends.
One of the places Echo Show is most popular, a place that’s perfect for an ambient user interface, is the kitchen. She does so many things that are incredibly helpful there, including setting timers, reading the news, and of course the communications feature we just talked about. And over the past year, we have learned customers love to ask Alexa to help them cook. Recipes have been an incredibly popular feature.
Meet Echo Show 8. The new device has a vivid HD 8-inch display and borrows the crisp, powerful audio from Echo Show. It also has the camera shutter and sleek form factor that customers love about Echo Show 5.
Echo Show 8 will cost $129.99, and is available for pre-order today.
With the addition of the Echo Show 8, customers can now choose from three screen sizes – from 5.5-inches all the way up to 10-inches.
Earlier this year, we introduced Echo Show 5, the second device in the Echo Show family. More than 70% of customer reviews rate it 5-stars. Customers have loved the affordability, small form factor, and the camera shutter we talked about earlier for added privacy. Customers love choice.
But not every TV has a Fire TV or Fire OS in it. So, we’re announcing today version 2.0 of the Alexa Smart Screen Device SDK.
This makes it easier for hardware manufacturers to add the same visuals we use in our Echo Show to their devices. The new SDK is available in public preview for developers starting today.
Earlier this month we introduced a lineup of more than 20 new Fire TV products for customers around the world.
At the event, we announced the all-new Fire TV Cube with far-field voice control, which is the fastest and most powerful Fire TV ever; the first Fire TV Edition smart TVs in Europe, including the world’s first Fire TV Edition with far-field voice control with OLED; and the expansion of Fire TV and Alexa on Fire TV in France, Italy, and Spain.
Fire TV now has 37 million monthly active users.
And included in every Fire TV is a rich and deep integration with Alexa so you can get all of the content you love by simply asking - sport scores, weather, infographics, music, and more.
But the team didn't stop with music - video is already encoded in Dolby Atmos. So we built the ability to connect to 4k Fire TV devices with Echo Studio, so when you're playing Atmos-endcoded content on your Fire TV, it fills the room with sound without the complexity. And it's even better when you have two, with pairing capability.
Let's take a look inside Echo Studio.
Echo Studio includes left, right and top mid-range speakers that create directional sound, a directional tweeter for great, high end performance and a built-in 5.25-inch bass driver coupled with a bass port to give you the best bass response we knew how to deliver. This coupled with a format like Dolby Atmos, the sound is truly immersive.
We've been working with Universal Music Group, Sony using Sony 360 format, and Warner Music Group to make music available from Amazon's HD Music service and other services over time.
Dave Limp is talking about an experience many have had - a stand out music experience – listening to music with your audiophile friend that has the perfect set-up; when you're front row at a symphony; or when you get the perfect seat at jazz club. And, once you’ve experienced music that way, you never want to go back. That's the experience where the music isn't directional--it fills the space all around you.
Meet Echo Studio - the first smart speaker that brings 3D audio from Dolby Atmos right into your living room.
Echo Studio is the most innovative speaker we’ve ever built. It produces unbelievable sound, with space, clarity, and depth. All you have to do is plug it in and the built-in Alexa microphones will automatically calibrate and model the room around you. And you’re ready to go. It works great with the music you’re already streaming today, but works even better with new 3D formats. It’s bold, incredible sound in a simple package.
As the sound quality has gotten better and better on Echo devices, it's not unusual to find Echoes when visiting friends or renting a home for a trip. Well, we wanted to make the experience of connecting your account to the exisitng devices easier, so we created Alexa Guest Connect. Now, when you get to a property with an Echo device, you can say, "Alexa, connect my account" and the feature will authenticate the request on both ends and you'll be able to access your favorite playlists.
Introducing the all-new Amazon Echo
The all-new Echo inherits the same audio architecture as Echo Plus, including neodymium drivers, 3-inch woofer and increased back volume so the bass feels stronger, and the mids and highs are clearer.
And now, it comes with the fabric design that customers tell us the love .
In addition to Charcoal, Sandstone and Heather Gray, we’re introducing another color for customers, Twilight Blue.
We started frustration detection with music because it continues to be one of the most popular things with Alexa. We want to make sure our customers have a lot of choices when it comes to listening to music with Alexa.
And just last week, we announced that HD music from Amazon Music is coming to Alexa—it’s much higher quality with tons of selection. Existing Amazon Music Unlimited customers can add this for only $5 more a month.
As customers continue to use Alexa more often, they want her to be more conversational and can get frustrated when Alexa gets something wrong. To help with this, we developed a deep learning model to detect when customers are frustrated, not with the world around them, but with Alexa. And when she recognizes you’re frustrated with her, Alexa can now try to adjust, just like you or I would do.
We’re announcing the first celebrity voice for Alexa, brought to life using Neural TTS.
Iconic actor and producer Samuel L. Jackson is the first celebrity voice for Alexa. He can tell you jokes, let you know if it’s raining, set timers and alarms, play music and more – all with a bit of his own personality. Two versions of his voice are available - explicit and non-explicit.
You’ll be able to interact with Samuel L. Jackson later this year - and if you add this personality in 2019, you'll get a special price of $0.99. Stay tuned for more celebrity voices next year.Samuel L. Jackson: Alexa’s newest celebrity voice
While customers love Alexa's voice, they sometimes want to hear a completely different voice. Customers loved getting morning greetings from Chelsea Handler, and a duet with Ed Sheeran.
In the past, we had to script and record all of these interactions, but with neural text to speech, we're able to model a celebrity voice directly.
We can also use this neural text to speech technology to make Alexa more emotive and expressive. She can sound more excited, like when your favorite team wins the game. Or, she can mimic other types of expressions. So, if she’s reading the news, she has a newscaster voice that sounds like the cadence of how you read the news.
Another benefit we've discovered moving to neural test to speech has been it gives us more freedom to invent for our customers. For example, the same TTS technology and back-end work on natural language processing also allows us to add new types of lanaguges very quickly.
With billions of people in the world speaking more than one language, many homes are not homogenous when it comes to languages anymore.
So for those customers, we’re rolling out Multilingual Mode. This will be available in three pairs to start: in the United States - English and Spanish, in India - Indian English and Hindi, and in Canada - Canadian English and French.
U.S. Spanish and Multilingual Mode will be available starting next month and we will continue to build.
From the very beginning of Alexa, customers have enthralled with Alexa's personality.
Whether it's jokes, her opinions or original songs, the core of her personality is her name and her voice.
When we introduced Alexa, we used state-of-the art text to speech technology. Now, we're working to make Alexa's personalities - and customer interactions more natural.
Introducing Echo Dot with Clock
It has all the things customers love about the Echo Dot, but the team added a vivid LED to give customers access to the clock whenever you want it. The Echo Dot with Clock can also display things like the temperature or alarm times.
Best yet, if used as an alarm clock, you can simply tap to snooze your alarm for a few more minutes of sleep.
It's available for pre-order starting today, for $59.99
The all-new Echo Dot we announced last year has been the fastest-selling Echo Dot ever - and it has a 4.6 star rating. But that doesn't mean we stop innovating on behalf of our customers.
Customer engagements inspire us to invent things we'll talk about today. For example, customers have asked Alexa the time, billions of times.
Taking it a step further - starting today - we're adding an auto delete option for customers to our Privacy Hub. Customers can now opt in to have their voice recordings older than three months or 18 months automatically deleted on an ongoing basis.
Within those windows of time, customers can continue to use other privacy features.
We'll continue to invent more privacy features on behalf of our customers.
We're adding utterances to give customers more transparency. You can now say, “Alexa, tell me what you heard,” and Alexa will read back your most recent voice request. This will be available today.
Later this year, you'll be able to say, “Alexa, why did you do that?” and Alexa will provide a short explanation about her response to your last voice request.
Earlier this year, we launched our new Privacy Hub, a one-stop shop for customers to learn about and manage their privacy settings, including a one-button delete all option.
Also, we were the first to offer customers the ability to opt-out from having their voice recordings be annotated by humans.
Additionally, we gave customers the ability to say, “Alexa, delete everything I said today,” and “Alexa, delete what I just said” a few months ago, to make it easier for someone interacting with a device to delete their recordings.
We're investing in privacy across the board. Here are some examples...
We introduced a camera shutter that electronically disconnects the camera on Echo Show 5 to give customers added peace of mind.
We also want to give customers control in other camera products, like Ring. Earlier this year we rolled out Privacy Zones, which let you exclude selected areas of the camera’s field of view from being recorded or viewed live. We also added a toggle in the Ring app so it’s easy for customers to turn off audio recording.
In November, we’ll roll out a new “Home" mode for Ring cameras, so your camera is never recording video or audio at all when you’re home.
When we developed Alexa, we developed on-device keyword spotting that lets Alexa detect a wake word, and only the wake word. When that happens, you see a blue indicator light to let you know that Alexa is streaming audio to the cloud. In the last year, our wake word engine has gotten 50% more accurate.
We're continuing to offer our Wake Word Engine to device makers, so they can build Alexa into their products.