Amazon Echo: As you might have anticipated, Amazon’s annual fall event was packed with product and service announcements. There was at least one announcement for each of the company’s major product and service categories. New-generation Echo and Fire TV hardware products were wrapped up. It also took the stage to announce a preview of Alexa powered by generative AI as well as other new features. Here are the most significant announcements made during Amazon’s 2023 Devices and Services event.
Alexa Powered by Generative AI
Every tech company wants a piece of generative AI, which is ubiquitous. Recently, Google integrated Bard with a number of its services, including Gmail, Docs, and Drive. Amazon, not wanting to be left behind, has unveiled an early preview version of Alexa powered by generative AI.
This new version of Alexa is based on a newly developed large language model (LLM). Amazon claims that it has been optimized specifically for voice commands. By saying “Alexa, let’s chat” to any Echo device, users will be able to interact with it. It states, “Alexa will feel more natural and conversational than ever before, and her ability to reason, infer customer intent, and comprehend complex requests will improve significantly.”
The early preview of Alexa with generative artificial intelligence is currently restricted to users in the United States. It will likely expand to other markets, including India, though the company has not yet made an official announcement.
Amazon Echo Show 8 (3rd Gen)
Amazon has introduced the Echo Show 8 (3rd Generation), which will replace the previous model in 2021. It is now equipped with custom-built audio processing technology for a more immersive audio experience. It has room adaptation technology that automatically optimizes audio playback based on the room’s acoustics.
The user interface of the new model can now be adjusted based on the distance between the user and the device. It accomplishes this using proximity sensors and computer vision. Therefore, when you are away from the device, larger fonts and images will be displayed. The new Echo Show 8 is available for pre-order for USD 149.99 in the United States.
Fire TV Stick 4K and 4K Max from Amazon (2nd Gen)
Amazon has updated its Fire TV Stick 4K and Fire TV Stick 4K Max products. It is now claimed that the vanilla model is 30% more powerful than the first generation. It now supports WiFi 6, allowing users to access a faster internet connection for quicker app launches and a more fluid 4K streaming experience. The price in the United States has been set at $49.99.
According to Amazon, the new Fire TV Stick Max is the first streaming stick to support WiFi 6E. As expected, Dolby Vision, HDR, HDR10+, and Dolby Audio are supported. The team has introduced the new Fire TV Ambient Experience, which transforms your television into an intelligent display. When you are not streaming, it displays helpful information such as a family calendar, local weather forecast, and reminders. It also has a catalogue of over 2,000 free gallery-quality artwork that turns your TV into an art frame. The price of this new Fire TV Stick 4K Max is $59.99 USD.
Amazon Echo Pop for Children
You may recall that Amazon introduced a brand-new Echo Pop smart speaker earlier this year. The team has now introduced Echo Pop Kids, a children-friendly version of the same game. It is available in Marvel’s Avengers and Disney Princess designs.
This new smart speaker has an alarm sound inspired by the Avengers. Alexa can also provide children with an entertaining fact about Disney Princess. Each smart speaker includes six months of Amazon Kids+ subscription service access. It costs $49.99 USD in the United States.
Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids
Additionally, Amazon has updated its Fire HD 10 Kids and Fire HD 10 Kids Pro tablets. Both tablets now feature 10.1-inch displays with Full HD resolution and are lighter than before. They are 25% quicker and include 3GB of RAM. The claimed battery life is approximately 13 hours. These tablets cost USD 189.99 each in the United States.
In addition, the team presented new Echo Frames smart glasses powered by Alexa. These are equipped with UV400 protection, IPX4 certification, and a playback/talk time of up to six hours. These glasses cost USD 269.99 and are available in various styles and with multiple lenses.
Amazon unveiled a new Fire TV Soundbar with support for Dolby Audio and DTS Virtual:X. It is a compact 24-inch soundbar that is compatible with all Fire TV streaming media players and televisions. The cost is USD 119.99.