Amazon has introduced a range of new Echo devices – Echo Studio, Echo and Echo Dot with clock – which all leverage the power and convenience of Alexa and Amazon services.
The next-generation Echo ($149) has an updated fabric design with numerous colour options including blue, charcoal, grey and sandstone.
The device has the same audio architecture as Echo Plus and now includes a 3 inch woofer.
Echo Dot with clock ($99) has a bright LED display that makes it ideal for your bedside table or your countertop or desk.
The screen automatically adjusts to the brightness of the room so you can always see the time and temperature and easily set an alarm or a timer.
Echo Studio ($329) has five built-in directional speakers, a 5.25-inch woofer and 330W of power to create impressive audio with clarity, depth and respectable bass.
Also on board is a one-inch tweeter and 3 to each mid-range speakers to cover all ranges and frequencies.
It also offers 100kHz of bandwidth for high-res lossless music playback.
Alexa herself has also had an upgrade and can provide more responses, can recommend routines and offer additional controls.
ALEXA CAN RECOMMEND ROUTINES
Alexa is able to recommend routines that you may want to set up based on your daily habits. For example, if a customer sets their alarm for 6am and then immediately ask for the weather every day, Alexa will suggest setting up a routine so that the alarm is always set and the weather plays as soon as it goes off. When Alexa asks if you would like a routine set-up, just say “yes,” and the routine is ready to go.
ALEXA CAN TELL YOU ABOUT HER RESPONSES
Alexa will soon offer two new voice-based features that provide customers with more transparency over the responses they get. If a customer is curious to understand what Alexa heard when you asked her to tell you the news or play a specific song, customers will be able to say, “Alexa, tell me what you heard” and Alexa will read back your most recent voice request.
You will also be able to ask, “Alexa, why did you do that?” and Alexa will provide a short explanation about her response to your last voice request. This feature will be rolling out this year.
ADDITIONAL CONTROL FOR CUSTOMERS—AUTO-DELETE VOICE RECORDINGS
Alexa and Echo devices are built with multiple layers of privacy protections. Earlier this year Amazon introduced the ability for customers to say, “Alexa, delete everything I said today,” and “Alexa, delete what I just said” to make it easier for customers, or anyone else interacting with a device, to delete their recordings.
This is being taken one step further with Auto-delete. Available later this year, customers will be able to choose to have their voice recordings older than three or 18 months automatically deleted on an ongoing basis.
This feature will be available in addition to the ability to access and delete utterances individually, or all at once, which customers have today.
“We love hearing feedback from customers about how they use Alexa throughout their day—whether that’s listening to music, dropping in on a loved one, trying out a new recipe, or playing a game with the family,” said Tom Taylor, Senior Vice President, Amazon Alexa.
“We hope these new Echo devices will give customers even more ways to access Alexa—whether that’s through the best-sounding Echo yet—Echo Studio, a reimagined Echo and Echo Dot.”