Amazon Devices & Services news—September 2020
Customers can request early access starting today. Luna+ will be offered at an introductory price of $5.99 per month during the early access period and Luna Controller will be available for an introductory price of $49.99. The Ubisoft channel will be available later this fall.
Introducing Luna Controller. As we built Luna, we realized that making it easy to find great games wasn’t enough. We also needed to make it easy to play. And that’s why we created Luna Controller with Cloud Direct technology.
In addition to a faster connection, the controller is simple and intuitive. You connect to your game using your controller. Luna Controller is Alexa-enabled and connects directly to the cloud to effortlessly control your game. In fact, we removed 20 milliseconds of roundtrip latency via Luna Controller with Cloud Direct technology vs. a local Bluetooth connection when playing Luna on a Fire TV Stick. Because the Luna Controller connects directly to cloud servers, players can easily switch between screens—such as Fire TV to mobile phone—without additional pairing or configuration changes.
Gaming is more social than ever before and Twitch is where the world’s best streamers meet the world’s most engaged gaming community. And inside the Luna experience, you’ll see Twitch streams for all the games in the service, and from Twitch, you’ll be able to instantly start playing games. This is just the start–we're excited to see what streamers and gamers do with cloud gaming.
Introducing the Luna+ game channel. During Early Access, we’ll have popular games like Control, Resident Evil 7, GRID, Yooka-Laylee and The Impossible Lair, and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Our goal is to make sure there is always something to play for everyone in the family. And, this is just the beginning–there is much, much more to come.
Amazon also announced a new gaming channel with leading global video game publisher Ubisoft, available directly through Luna. Players who subscribe to this channel will have access to their favorite Ubisoft titles in up to 4K resolution, mobile gameplay, and access to new titles like Assassins Creed Valhalla, Far Cry 6, and Immortals Fenyx Rising the same day they release. This is the first of multiple Luna publisher game channels in development, where customers can play games from their favorite publishers and genres.
Introducing Luna, Amazon’s all new cloud gaming service. Luna makes it easy for you to play amazing games on the screens you already own. With Luna and the incredible scale and capability of Amazon Web Services (AWS), it’s easy to stream high-quality, immersive games.
We’ve seen how customers are filling their beautiful TV screens with the latest movies, incredible television shows, workouts, educational programming, and more. But we also know they love to game. Listening to our customers continues to inspire us to see how we can make it even easier to find and play great games.
With so many great things to watch and do, we wanted to make it even easier for people to start streaming on Fire TV.
Introducing Fire TV Stick Lite. Fire TV Stick Lite gives you the most processing power in any streaming media player under $30. It’s an amazing way to start streaming in full-HD with HDR, and it comes with Alexa Voice Remote Lite for quick access to the large selection of HD content available on Fire TV.
Fire TV Stick Lite will start shipping later this month for $29.99.
From the beginning, Fire TV Stick has been a customer favorite. It’s one of Amazon's best-selling products ever. In fact, Fire TV Stick was the first product on all of Amazon.com to surpass a quarter of a million ratings—and now boasts the most five-star ratings of any product.
Introducing the all-new Fire TV Stick. It features an enhanced processor that makes 50% more powerful than the previous generation, as well as HDR compatibility and Dolby Atmos support for powerful, full-HD streaming. It also includes our popular Alexa remote with dedicated volume, power and mute buttons so you can easily control your TV, soundbar and AV equipment. It will begin rolling out later this month for $39.99 USD.
Customers are using Fire TV to be entertained, to learn, to discover and so much more, which is why we wanted to deliver the same great experience regardless of their activity.
Introducing the new Fire TV experience— desiged to be more personalized and customized, with new content-discovery features, enhanced Alexa voice integration, and user profiles. We redesigned the Fire TV experience to build on the things customers love, with new features like a simplified Main Menu, Find destination, Profiles for up to six users, and voice-first experience with Alexa, the all-new Fire TV experience is the biggest experience update we’ve ever done.
The new Fire TV experience will begin to rollout to customers later this year.
Whether it’s a home office or a virtual classroom, our homes have become multifunctional this year. That's why we've felt it was important to help customers stay connected to one another from their homes.
Introducing Video Calling with Fire TV. We're excited to bring the video calling experience to the biggest screen in your home. Later this year, customers will be able to connect a Logitech USB webcam with their Fire TV Cube to enable two-way video calling on Alexa. Support for Zoom will launch at a later date. By using the TV’s large screen and high-resolution, we hope to bring customers “closer to” one another for work calls, study groups, or simply catching up with friends and family.
Worldwide sales of Fire TV products have seen rapid growth in the past five years and we’re on pace for another record-breaking year. In fact, to date we have sold more than 100MM streaming media players and Fire TV customers are streaming are billions of hours every month.
Alexa and Echo devices are built with multiple layers of privacy. From microphone and camera controls to the ability to view and delete voice recordings, customers have transparency and control over their Alexa experience.
The all-new Echo Show 10 comes with a camera shutter for added peace of mind. You can turn motion off at any time by sliding the built-in camera shutter closed, adjusting settings on-device or in the Alexa app, or just by saying, “Alexa, turn off motion.”
When you ask, “Alexa, how do I review my privacy settings?” Alexa will send you a direct link in the Alexa app to your Alexa Privacy Settings. There, you can learn more about how different privacy features work and you can choose the privacy options that are right for you.
Later this year, if you would like to delete all the previously saved voice recordings associated with your account, you can simply ask, “Alexa, delete everything I’ve said.”
You can now choose whether or not to save your voice recordings. If you choose not to save your voice recordings, they will be automatically deleted after Alexa processes your request. All previously saved recordings will also be deleted.
In addition to keeping you connected, Echo Show 10 also helps you make your home smarter and more secure. It works great as a remote camera to check in on the dog while you’re running errands—or to make sure the kids are actually on their school calls when you’re in a different part of the house. You can view your live feed from another Echo Show or the Alexa app. You can also remotely rotate the screen to take a look around the room.
Plus, when you put Alexa Guard in Away Mode, you can get a smart alert if the camera detects somebody while you’re not home. And for added peace of mind, Echo Show will periodically pan around the room to see if anyone is in its field of view.
The all-new Echo Show 10 makes video calling more enjoyable. The screen moves with you and the camera digitally pans and zooms to keep you and your family centered in the frame. Now you can catch up with your family while making dinner—you aren’t stuck in front of your computer, or propping your phone up to squeeze into view.
We’re also adding more options to stay connected, including Group Calling, so it’s easy to catch up over family dinners or have happy hour with friends. And we’re adding new effects for video calls and Drop In calls so you can appear around bubbles or a garden.
Alexa already supports Skype, and we recently announced that Zoom is coming later this fall. Now, we’re also adding Amazon Chime. I’m sure we’ve all probably been on at least one video call over the last few months, so we’re excited for this experience to be even better on Echo Show 10.
Echo Show turns to face you, keeping the screen in view as you're engaging with Alexa in your home—whether you are calling a friend or following a recipe.
We’re able to do all this with a combination of audio beamforming technology and computer vision all processed locally and securely on the device’s neural processors. While you’re interacting with Alexa, the device uses these sound localization and computer vision models to triangulate in and turn the screen directly to face you. Alexa is not identifying a specific person, just a human shape. And again, all of this is happening on-device.
We’ve worked hard to build technology that disappears into the background, and it's become even more important as home become smarter. We learned very quickly in the labs that you can’t add movement to a customer experience and have it be noisy. The motion on Echo Show 10 is completely silent. We've created a powerful, brushless motor and when we tested it, it was inaudible to the human ear.Echo Show 10
Introducing Echo Show 10. The Echo Show 10 has been completely reimagined to fit the way that customers live. We’ve introduced intelligent movement and made it even more natural to engage with Alexa.
We initially invented Echo Show because we thought the ambient experience could be even better if Alexa could show you things. This was the first time anyone had created a smart display designed to be controlled entirely by your voice, and we’ve learned a lot from our customers.
One of the things we learned is that our screens were stationary but our customers aren’t. For example, when you're cooking, you're likely going between different places in your kitchen and may need to be able to see the Echo Show screen to follow the recipe.
Introducing Ring Always Home Cam, a small, autonomous indoor camera that will automatically fly to predetermined areas of the home, giving you multiple viewpoints with just one camera.
Built with privacy in mind, it only records when in flight; when it’s not in use it sits in a doc and the camera is physically blocked. And, it’s loud enough so you hear when it’s in motion.
The Ring Always Home Cam will be $249.99.
Introducing Ring Car Connect, an API for car manufacturers that allows customers to receive mobile alerts for detected events, watch recorded vehicle video footage, and see important vehicle information such as if the car is locked or unlocked. Starting today, any auto manufacturer can integrate on the service.
The first compatible vehicles for Ring Car Connect are Tesla models 3, X, S, and Y. Once they install this aftermarket device, users can watch Tesla Sentry Mode and recorded driving footage in the Ring app over wifi or from anywhere via LTE (with an optional connectivity plan). Ring Car Connect will be $199.99
Introducing Ring Car Cam, a first-of-its-kind security camera for your car that helps protect you and your vehicle regardless of whether you are driving or parked. This car security camera is full of features that help keep you, your loved ones and your car safe. Similar to Ring Car Alarm, when your car is parked, the sensors monitor for bumps and attempted break-ins, sending a real-time alert to the Ring app. With its dual-facing HD cameras, you can see a live view and check-in on what’s happening in and around the vehicle from anywhere over wifi or LTE (with an optional connectivity plan).
While driving, it keeps you and your loved ones safe with features like Emergency Crash Assist, which will automatically request help from first responders if a serious crash is detected.
Ring Car Cam will also include a new feature called Traffic Stop. If you’re pulled over while driving, simply say, “Alexa, I’m being pulled over,” and your Ring Car Cam will automatically start recording. Footage from the stop will be securely stored, and you can automatically notify a loved one a notification of the stop. Ring Car Cam will be $199.99
Introducing Ring Car Alarm. The Ring Car Alarm monitors for impacts, break-ins, tows, and more. The alarm operates on Sidewalk, and discreetly plugs into your car’s OBD port, where it actively monitors for impacts, break-ins, tows, and more. Ring Car Alarm will immediately send you an alert if anything is detected.
Ring Car Alarm works in 99% of cars and is just $59.99 with no monthly subscription. It can link with other Ring devices and Alexa to trigger lights, cameras, sirens, and more.
The number one most requested device from our customers is security for their cars.
Today, we're announcing an entire line up of auto security products available in early 2021 that will redefine car security by bringing to the car the easy to install, affordable, integrated solutions that Ring customers love.
Privacy, security and user control are foundational to us at Ring. We were the first to make two-step verification mandatory in our industry and will also be among the first to offer end-to-end encryption for your videos.
Launching today in the Control Center, Video Encryption Controls let you learn more about how we currently encrypt and protect your videos.
Later this year, you’ll easily be able to turn on video end-to-end encryption right from the Control Center.
Creating new ways to stay in touch with friends and family is more important than ever. And as we all spend more time at home, we expect our homes to do even more for us – our homes have become always-open restaurants, movie theaters, classrooms, home offices and more. And of course at the base of all that is your wifi connection. A fast, reliable wifi connection at home is no longer a nice-to-have – it’s essential, especially in an ambient home.
Today we’re introducing the all-new eero Pro 6 and eero 6 that bring together the newest WiFi-6 technology for speed and performance. Each has a built-in Zigbee smart home hub, and better support for lots of connected devices all running at the same time. These new systems are compatible with all existing eero devices, making it easy to expand or upgrade your network and optimize your connection for video calls and 4K streaming and gaming.
eero Pro 6 and eero 6 are available for pre-order starting today for $129 and $229.
Customers love using Guard to have peace of mind about the family members they live with. But during these uncertain times, we want that same comfort and reassurance about people living far away. Majority of us can all relate to having family that we can’t see as often as we’d like, now more than ever.
Introducing the Care Hub, a new Alexa feature that will enable family members to care for aging loved ones, even from a distance. First, you and a family member agree to create a connection between your two Alexa accounts. Then, if your loved one needs help, they can call you as their emergency contact by saying, “Alexa, call for help.”
With Care Hub set up, you'll be about to access an activity feed detailing when loved ones have interacted with their Echo device or connected smart home device, letting you know they are up and going about their day. You can also set up an alert if no activity is detected before a certain time of day, so you can call to check in.
The activity feed is generalized to maintain the privacy of loved ones while given customers peace of mind.
Millions of customers have now set up Alexa Guard, and on average, tens of thousands more activate the service for the first time each week. So, of course we looked at how we could make it even better, and we added a new set of features to the experience that we’re calling Guard Plus.
Guard Plus makes it easier for customers to keep their home and family safe. With Guard Plus, Alexa can help customers detect potential emergencies, deter intruders and, give customers alwaysavailable, hands-free access to an emergency helpline.
When you set Guard Plus to Away Mode, Alexa can detect sounds of activity in your home–like footsteps or doors closing–and alert you. To deter potential intruders, Alexa can play a warning sound from your Echo devices, like the sound of dogs barking.
With Guard Plus, you can ask Alexa to connect you with an Emergency Helpline, even when your phone is out of reach. The Emergency Helpline is staffed around the clock—24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year—by trained agents who can request an ambulance or contact the police or fire department on your behalf in an emergency.
Guard Plus will begin to roll out to customers in the U.S. starting this fall. Customers can try Guard Plus free for one month, and continue using the service for only $4.99 per month after that, or $49 per year.
We’re especially excited that Guard Plus will support integrations with popular security providers including A3 Smart Home, Abode, Resideo, Ring, Scout Alarm, and Wyze. Each of them have committed to offering Guard Plus within their professional monitoring subscription plans. And Ring Protect Plus customers will get Guard Plus for no additional cost as part of their current subscription.
Alexa can already detect sounds like glass breaking or the sound of a smoke alarm, and later this year, Alexa will also be able to recognize even more sounds like a baby crying or someone coughing or snoring. You'll be able to choose to set up Routines like turning on the light in your bedroom when Alexa detects the sound of a baby crying or turning on white noise when your partner starts to snore at night.
Smart home is more than connected devices. Alexa already works with lots of devices—140K products, every couple milliseconds customers use Alexa with smart devices. Customers have set up more than 100 million smart home devices to work with Alexa. From lights to thermostats as well as smart doorbells and more.
Two years ago, we took a step toward making Alexa more conversational with Follow-Up Mode, which lets customers make back-to-back requests to Alexa without needing to repeat the wake word. Today, we're introducing “natural turn taking,” the ability for customers to speak to Alexa without using a wake word during the course of a conversation—even when multiple people are talking. See this in action:
To make this experience a reality, we needed to solve several challenges. For example, are people speaking to each other? Or, should Alexa join the conversation? And, if she does, who should she respond to? To address these challenges, we had to go beyond voice-only understanding to multi-sensory artificial intelligence. Specifically, Alexa uses a combination of acoustic, linguistic, and visual cues with deep-learning-based models running locally on the Echo device. Once Alexa determines that a particular interaction turn is directed at her, she uses the context of the conversation to decide how to respond, or which specific action to take.
Natural turn taking is a major step forward in conversational AI, enabling customers to interact with Alexa at their own pace. We look forward to bringing this transformative capability to our customers next year.
As Alexa continues to become more natural to interact with, we wanted to to take it a step further. When we speak to another person, we get both verbal and non-verbal cues, and adapt our responses accordingly. Later this year, Alexa will adapt her responses based on the context of the conversation by adjusting her tone, stressing certain words, adding pauses and even breaths.
When we misunderstand someone, we’re able to quickly course correct by picking nuances in how the person responds or by asking clarifying questions.
Like us, Alexa uses similar self-learning to automatically correct her mistakes by learning from customer feedback signals. These signals include vocal frustration such as “Alexa, that’s wrong” or a direct interruption such as “Alexa, stop.” Once Alexa determines a particular action was unsatisfactory, she automatically corrects herself.
Today, we’re taking this self-learning a step further by enabling customers to directly teach Alexa, which will help Alexa get smarter by asking questions to fill gaps in her understanding. This new capability helps Alexa get smarter by asking questions to fill gaps in her understanding—just like we do.
Teachable AI is an exciting step forward for all AI services.
When our teams think about AI, they're not just thinking about research in labs—they're focused on how customers are going to use these inventions in their daily lives. Our vision is to make interacting with Alexa as simple as speaking to another person. Today, we'll share a few AI advancements which are bringing us closer to that vision.
Parents tell us they love the Amazon Kids parental controls and want them all over the house, not just on their Echo Dot Kids Edition. Soon, parents will be able to create an Alexa voice profile for their kids. Once enabled, Alexa will automatically shift to the Kids Alexa experience whenever she recognizes your child’s voice—on any device in the household—and provide kid-friendly responses, games, skills, music, and more. If you’re an Amazon Kids+ customer, all of your kids’ favorite premium skills and Audible books will be available. A preview of Alexa voice profiles for kids will begin rolling out for Amazon Kids and Amazon Kids+ families in the coming months (parental consent required).
In addition to new devices, our teams wanted to bring more helpful experiences to families. With feedback from educators, we created a new Alexa feature that complements kids’ reading routines, and helps them build fluency and foster a love for reading, particularly those who are just starting to read on their own.
Introducing Reading Sidekick. Soon, Alexa will take turns reading from a supported book with the child and listen for quality of reading, offering encouragement when the child is reading well and support when the child struggles. Reading Sidekick works with hundreds of children’s books and will be available in preview for Amazon Kids+ families in the coming months.
We've also redesigned the Echo Dot Kids Edition. We had some fun with the new spherical shape and created new Panda and Tiger designs and animal-themed alarms.
Echo Dot Kids Edition comes with a one-year Amazon Kids+ subscription, giving families access to thousands of hours of kid-friendly Audible books, interactive games, and educational skills.
Echo Dot Kids Edition will be available for pre-order today for only $59.99 and will ship later this year.
The new Echo is powered by Amazon’s first-generation AZ1 Neural Edge processer—an all-new silicon module that’s purpose-built for accelerating machine learning applications. With AZ1, powerful inference engines can run quickly on the edge—starting with an all-neural speech recognition model that will process speech faster, making Alexa even more responsive.AZE Neural Processor
New Design & Colors: We took the same new spherical design and fabric finish of Echo and brought it to the new Echo Dot and Echo Dot with clock. These new sleek compact devices will come in three different colors - Charcoal, Glacier White, and Twilight Blue.
Sound Quality: Echo Dot packs in a powerful 1.6-inch, front-firing speaker, producing crisp vocals and balanced bass for full sound.
Echo Dot will be available for pre-order today for $49.99 and will ship later this year. The Echo Dot with clock option will cost $59.99.
New Design & Colors: Echo has an all-new spherical design to maximize audio quality and comes in three different colors—Charcoal, Glacier White, and Twilight Blue.
Sound Quality: 3.0-inch woofer, dual-firing tweeters and Dolby processing deliver stereo sound with clear highs, dynamic-mids, and deep bass. Similar to Echo Studio, Echo will now automatically sense the acoustics of your space and fine-tune audio playback.
Smart Home: Echo comes with a built-in smart home hub, with support for Zigbee, Bluetooth Low Energy, and Amazon Sidewalk.
Echo will be available for pre-order today for only $99 .99 and will ship later this year.
Customers put Echo devices in some of the busiest parts of their house, and ask Alexa for all kinds of things like their favorite playlist when they’re in the family room, or to make an announcement that dinner is ready from the kitchen. So, it’s important that we design devices that fit beautifully into any room of the home.
Introducing the all-new Echo.
Just announced: Amazon is building new wind and solar farms to match the electricity used by Echo devices, greening the grid on behalf of our customers. This will be expanded to match the energy consumption of all our devices over the next several years.
To show you the first of these energy efficient Echo devices, let me turn it over to Miriam.
The new Echo and Fire TV devices that we'll share more about today are made of materials like 100% post-consumer recycled fabric and 100% recycled die-cast aluminum. The new devices will be among the first products to receive the Climate Pledge Friendly badge on Amazon.com.
In addition to building more sustainable devices, we'll be rolling out new energy features this year, including:
Low Power Mode for all new wall-powered Echo and Fire TV devices, which will make them even more energy efficient for our customers over the devices' lifetime. We’ll also roll out over-the-air updates to bring Low Power Mode to additional devices already in the install base.
An energy dashboard to help customers understand the energy consumption of compatible Echo devices and Alexa-connected smart home devices. Alexa will even suggest features that will help save energy, for example turning off the lights and adjusting the thermostat after 10 p.m.
We co-founded and signed The Climate Pledge–a commitment to be net zero carbon across our entire business by 2040–because this is a time sensitive, existential problem that no one company or person can solve alone.
The company has made great progress through investments in renewable energy projects, and we’re on track to run on 100% renewable energy five years ahead of schedule. But we won't stop there.
For our business, this means thinking about more than just when the device is built and when it’s replaced.
We'll be live blogging all the announcements from our Amazon Devices & Services team on September 24, 2020 at 10 a.m. PT. Stay tuned here for our live coverage of all the news.
In the meantime, read some of the latest news from Amazon Devices & Services below: