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Technology Amazon re-designs Echo, unveils car security, indoor drone and gaming

21:10  24 september  2020
21:10  24 september  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

Where should I put Alexa? The best rooms in your house for your Amazon Echo

  Where should I put Alexa? The best rooms in your house for your Amazon Echo Get the most use out of your Echo speaker by placing it in one of these rooms.For example, an Echo Show has a clear home in the kitchen for looking up recipes, but it's also nifty to have in the bedroom if you want to fall asleep watching Amazon Prime movies. But an Echo Dot might work best in your living room, where you can control playlists and smart home devices, or in your kitchen for setting timers.

Amazon unleashed a slew of new products Thursday, including an indoor security drone, car security products, a re-designed Echo speaker with a spherical look and a gaming service.

The most radical of the products is an "indoor only" $249 security drone, Ring Always Home Cam, which Amazon says will automatically fly to predetermined areas of the home, "giving you multiple viewpoints with just one camera.that flies around the home." It will only record when in flight, says Amazon, which didn't offer a release date.

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The "all-new" Echo is in a different, ball shape, touts improved audio and will sell for $99.

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The regular Dot, which is also spherical, is priced at $49.99, and the Dot edition with a clock is $59.99.

Amazon also showed off a re-think of the Echo Show, the Echo unit with a video display. The new Echo Show 10, with a ten-inch screen, is targeted to video calling, which has taken on new urgency in the COVID era.

What's unique about this Echo is that it has a rotating base and a screen that "moves with you," as the camera also digitally pans and zooms as people move around the room. "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," notes Amazon.

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Rival products from Facebook and Google have included a camera that digitally pans and zooms, but the rotating base is new.

Previous editions of the Echo Show didn't support the No. 1 video meeting app, but Amazon is bringing Zoom to Echo later this "fall," the company says.

The Echo speakers are the crown jewel in Amazon's self-made products, with a 53% market share of the smart speaker market, compared to 31% for Google Nest Home, according to Voicebot.ai, which tracks voice computing.

a blue ball: New round look for the Echo speakers © Amazon New round look for the Echo speakers

Some 87.7 million people currently own a smart speaker in the United States, per Voicebot.

The most popular of the Echo speakers is the Dot, which is traditionally discounted to around $25 during the holidays. The Dot, along with the Echo Show 5, which adds a video display, were the two best-selling Echo speakers last Christmas.

Amazon also announced it's going to bring its Ring camera to your car. The Ring Car Alarm will monitor your vehicle for impacts, break-ins, tows and more.

The Ring drone is just the latest Amazon privacy puzzle box

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It also features Traffic Stop. If you get pulled over by police, a driver can say, "Alexa, I’m being pulled over,” and the camera will automatically start reco

The other best seller in the Amazon Devices category was the Fire TV Stick with Alexa, which also sold for around $25, and brings an easy way for TV consumers to add streaming to their TV sets.

Fire TV competes with Roku, which has similarly priced streaming devices. Both Fire TV and Roku claim 40 million viewers, making both the dominant players in streaming, which also includes Apple and its Apple TV set-top box, and Google, with its Chromecast dongle.

Last year's highlights from the press event included a wall clock, Echo Buds, a high-fidelity version of Echo, called Studio and Alexa glasses, which was invite only and never officially went on sale.

a man standing in front of a window: Amazon exec Dave Limp on a livestream to announce new products © Amazon Amazon exec Dave Limp on a livestream to announce new products

Another big initiative announced last year was Amazon Sidewalk, which extends the range of Alexa devices into areas not normally covered by Wi-Fi, is expected to get a lot of attention at the event. Amazon this week updated Sidewalk by mentioning it will actually launch this year.

Oops! So many Prime Day 2020 deals just went live ahead of schedule

  Oops! So many Prime Day 2020 deals just went live ahead of schedule Amazon's huge Prime Day 2020 shopping event is scheduled to begin at 12:00 AM PT on Tuesday, October 13, but it looks like a ton of Amazon's best Prime Day deals just went live ahead of schedule. It's unclear if this is a mistake or if Amazon decided to give astute shoppers early access to some deals, but you should hurry up either way because we don't know if these deals will stick around. Some of the hottest early Prime Day deals include Amazon’s All-new Ring Video Doorbell with Free Echo Dot, the Echo Dot for just $18.99, and the Echo Show 5 with Blink Mini Indoor Smart Security Camera for only $49.99! Visit Amazon’s Prime Day 2020 hub to see all the latest deals.

"With Sidewalk, you can continue to receive motion alerts from your security cameras even when your Wi-Fi goes down," Amazon noted. "Or if your Wi-Fi does not reach your smart lights at the edge of your driveway, Sidewalk will help them stay connected."

The new Amazon products are expected in stores beginning in October.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Amazon re-designs Echo, unveils car security, indoor drone and gaming

The New Amazon Echo Is Round (Also It Sounds Good) .
It’s round. That’s the story, folks. © Photo: Victoria Song/Gizmodo In all seriousness, you can’t talk about the fourth-generation Amazon Echo without acknowledging its new globular shape. Visually, it’s a significant departure from the cylindrical Echoes of yore, but it’s more than just Amazon telling you, “Oh, it’s a ball now.” It’s also a way of saying, “This one is different.” And this is true. The fourth-gen Echo is a more notable upgrade from the third-gen Echo, both in terms of forward-looking features and sound quality.

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