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21 September 2018, 02:06 | Antoinette Holland
We already had an inkling about the Alexa-enabled microwave, as rumors about it surfaced earlier this week, and images of various Echo devices leaked yesterday. But it seems the internet giant couldn't resist announcement some updates to these either, as it has just unveiled an updated Echo Plus and a third-generation Echo Dot. Perhaps the intriguing of all, however, is the new Amazon Echo Sub as it signifies Amazon's intent to take on names like Sonos in the premium home audio space.
Music is "the anchor tenant for Alexa", saidAmazon devices Senior Vice President Dave Limp at an event held in Amazon's Spheres. Highlights include the Echo Auto, the Alexa Guard, and an AmazonBasics Microwave that includes an Alexa Connect Kit.
To give your existing Echo speaker a deeper range, Amazon announced Echo Sub. "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", according to the blog. You can talk to it by saying "Hey, Google" and swipe right on the display to manually go back. All fine and dandy, I'm sure - but the product that most intrigues me is probably also the most innocuous: An Alexa-integrated Echo Wall Clock. It was followed by Amazon Echo Dot at a close 2.2 million. Given that a quick scan of the site suggests an identically featured device for £8, then we're thinking that's a bit of a troll by Amazon. It will be rolling out related some software updates to Echo users over the next few weeks. The first physical design, a matte black cylinder, was uninspired, but the always-on speaker and Alexa resonated with consumers.
Other companies have tried to imitate Amazon's success. In addition to that, it packs all the usual voice assistant features such as pulling up weather details, pictures and videos from Google Photos, controlling your smart home, Nest security camera integrations, guiding you through food recipes, directions, et cetera. It will be available on its own and bundled with other speakers starting with some from Bose and Eufy. Of the top five best-selling smart speakers, Alibaba's Tmall Genie secured 7 percent market share - same as Google Home with 800,000 shipments. There's not enough time for the Cupertino company to release a new, cheaper version of the smart speaker before the holiday season, so Apple will need to drop the price on the existing Homepod in order to compete.
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