Last week, Amazon managed to pack around a dozen product announcements into a 50-minute presentation that featured everything from new Alexa smart speakers to a cloud gaming service to next-generation WiFi routers, Fitness trackers and home security devices. It was a lot.
If you blinked, you might have missed a few.
However, we have you covered. Here’s a recap of all of the new Amazon hardware and services announced yesterday, including cost and when to get your hands on them.
New echo speakers
Amazon opened the presentation with a range of new Echo smart speakers powered by Alexa technology:
- All-new Amazon Echo ($ 149):: The new flagship echo loudspeaker swaps the traditional cylinder look for a spherical design. It has two speakers, a 3-inch subwoofer, and a new AZ1 processor for faster Alexa response. It also has a built-in home hub that can control other smart home devices and a ring of light at the base that responds to your Alexa interactions.
- Three new echo dots: a $ 79 model; a $ 99 model with a built-in clock display; and a “kids edition” worth 60 US dollars (85 US dollars), which can be customized with cute mesh covers with animal motifs. All three Echo Dots have the same spherical shape as the flagship Echo, but are smaller and less powerful.
You can pre-order the new Echo and the new Echo Dot now. All four models will hit the market later this year, but it seems Australia isn’t getting the Kid’s Edition just yet.
Echo Show 10 Smart Display
Amazon also introduced a new voice-controlled smart display, the Echo Show 10, with a 10-inch display and a 13-megapixel camera. The Echo Show 10 supports drop-in video chat and uses AI to adjust the camera angle during a call and keep you in the picture.
Amazon used the Echo Show 10 announcement to confirm that Netflix is now available on all smart display devices. Viewing on the Echo Show 10 is better, however, as the Show 10’s tracking camera will automatically keep the screen pointed at you as you move around in space.
We’d be lying if it weren’t for that somehow creepy but luckily Show 10 doesn’t use face recognition and can’t “tell” who is in front of the camera. It will also go into a “low power” mode when not in use. In this mode, the device is disconnected from Amazon’s cloud servers and does not record audio.
The Echo Show 10 is available in white and black models. You can pre-order it now for $ 399. It is expected to be shipped sometime during the holiday season.
Luna game streaming service
The next big announcement was Luna, Amazon’s long-rumored cloud-based video game streaming service. Unlike a dedicated game console, Luna allows players to access devices they already own. Luna will be available as a dedicated app on PC, Mac and Fire TV devices upon launch, and accessible via web apps on iPhone and iPad. An Android app is also planned.
Of course, Amazon says Luna will have strong Twitch integration as well, although there are few details on what exactly that means.
Users can play with the keyboard and mouse, Bluetooth controllers, or the Luna controller for $ 50 ($ 71). Amazon claims the Luna controller has lower latency than regular Bluetooth controllers.
In games, the core of the service is the “Luna +” channel, which contains a library of games that you can stream from any supported device. In fact, users can stream a game up to it two Devices simultaneously on a single account. The Luna + channel will cost $ 6 ($ 9) for early access during its preview time and has a handful of games at launch, including (but not limited to):
- Brothers: A Story of Two Sons
- Panzer Dragoon Remake
- A plague story: innocence
- Resident Evil 7
- The wave 2
More tracks will be added to the Luna + channel over time.
Amazon is aiming for 4K / 60 FPS video quality for games on its service, but only supports up to 1080p videos at launch … whenever it does. Amazon has not announced an access date for Australia or a possible start date, but US customers can request early access today.
Improved Fire TV Stick and Stick Lite
As for Amazon’s video streaming products, the company announced an updated Fire TV Stick ($ 40 ($ 57)) and a Fire TV Stick Lite ($ 59).
The two streaming sticks are pretty similar. Both functions:
- HD video and HDR support
- Control voice search and playback
- A new Fire TV interface
- A new energy saving energy saving mode
Fire TV Stick Lite is the fastest streaming device on the market under $ 59, according to Amazon. The $ 40 ($ 57) Fire TV Stick is faster and has dedicated volume buttons. However, it is not yet available in Australia. The Lite is coming to Australia on September 30th.
Eero Wifi 6 router
Amazon will launch two new Eero routers with mesh networking technology and Wi-Fi 6 support later this year. Pre-orders for the Eero 6 ($ 130 ($ 184)) and Eero Pro 6 ($ 230 ($ 326)) are available now in the United States. It doesn’t seem to be available in Australia yet.
The new Halo fitness bracelet from Amazon gives you another option for wearable fitness tracking. However, it’s a simple, screen-less bracelet accessory, and not one of the smartwatches that many of us are used to.
To use the Halo band, you must subscribe to Amazon’s Halo membership ($ 4 ($ 6) per month). The band tracks body composition (body fat versus muscle), sleep patterns, daily activity tracking and comparisons of sitting time and much more. You can access this data in the Halo mobile app.
The Halo band will launch for $ 99 ($ 140) later this year in a variety of colors and sizes. However, during early access, it will be reduced to $ 65 ($ 92) for a limited time. This doesn’t seem to be available in Australia either.
Always Home Cam Security Drone
Amazon showed the new Always Home Cam from Ring – a flying security drone that monitors your home on its own. Seriously.
The drone is equipped with a camera and patrols your house. Users can view the drone’s camera feed in the Ring app and create routes for it to follow.
Amazon anticipated the privacy concerns inherent in such a device. The drone only records video in flight and the camera is physically obscured when docked. It’s also loud enough to be heard while floating around.
The Always Home Cam will be available in select regions for $ 250 ($ 354) in 2021. Australia is not one of them (yet).
Alexa Guard Plus
This paid upgrade to Alexa Guard adds 24-hour audio monitoring to your setup for $ 5 ($ 7) per month or $ 50 ($ 71) per year. Users will receive a notification on their phone when their Amazon products detect any unusual activity. Your devices also emit warning tones to help ward off potential intruders.
Alexa Guard Plus will roll out in select regions (not yet Australia) later this year.
Ring Car Safety Devices
Lastly, we have three Ring car safety devices. They are not yet available, but are expected to be rolled out in select regions in the coming months. You can sign up for email updates on the Ring website.
- Ring Car Alert ($ 60 ($ 85)): This device connects to the OBD port under the steering wheel of your car. It detects intrusions, crashes, towing services, and more.
- Ring Car Cam ($ 199 ($ 282)): A ring surveillance camera with Alexa drive for your vehicle. It syncs with your Ring app and monitors break-ins and can automatically ask for help after an accident. It also works as a dashcam.
- Car Connect ($ 199 ($ 282)): Uses a car’s built-in security features and cameras to create a security system that syncs with your Ring app. Only Tesla vehicles are supported at launch, but other manufacturers will be supported in the future.
Like other newly announced Amazon products, these may not launch in Australia. Stay tuned for more news.
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