Amazon today announces an update for its line of products based on the virtual assistant Alexa: among the new features also announced is the new Echo Dot, new Echo Flex and new Echo Studio, while maintaining the concept of past models, improves from some points of view.
The new Amazon Echo: Alexa dresses in fabric
There are four colors available, so that the speaker can be adapted to any style of furniture: blue-gray, anthracite, light gray and melange gray. As mentioned, the sound compartment makes a significant leap forward, going to align with that of Echo Plus comprising a 7.6 cm woofer and a greater volume on the back so as to be able to reproduce deeper bass without losing sharpness on medium frequencies and high.
The operation of the speaker is obviously based on the Alexa AI which is now enriched with new features. Here, we refer for more details: speed adjustment, Whisper mode to make the assistant respond without making too much noise (useful at night or when someone is sleeping), possibility of having the last command repeated imparted voice and automatic cancellation of the received inputs. The latter option will be made available in the coming months.
Price and availability
The new Amazon Echo is available pre-order on Amazon today for the price of Euro 99.99, with the delivery of the purchased units that will start by the end of the year. At the moment we have no more precise time frames.
The New Amazon Echo Studio: Alexa, Zigbee and audio power
Uncompromising music reproduction, with deep bass and crisp highs, even in larger environments. There is also a Zigbee integrated hub for managing the equipment in the smart home. Inside there is a 13.3 cm woofer, a 2.5 cm tweeter and three 5 cm midrange units. There is also a 24-bit DAC system and an amplifier with 100 kHz bandwidth. The maximum reproducible power reaches 330 W. The design is designed to take advantage of the opening positioned in the lower part to optimize the air flow.
Among the other features offered by the device is a technology that deals with analyzing the acoustics of the environment in which it is located in such a way as to optimize the reproduction mode. The result is quality audio regardless of where the speaker is positioned, thanks also to Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Reality Audio.
Amazon reports the possibility of combining one or two devices to a Fire TV in order to create a home cinema system while watching movies, shows and TV series. To all this we add the functionalities linked to the artificial intelligence of Alexa, constantly updated also on the basis of the collected feedback.
Price and availability
The new Amazon Echo Studio can be purchased immediately in pre-order at a price of Euro 199.99. Shipments will start by the end of the year.
The New Amazon Echo Flex puts Alexa in the socket
There is also an integrated USB port to which you can connect, for example, the cable for charging your smartphone or tablet. The same slot can otherwise be used for the addition of an optional accessory such as a night light or a motion sensor. Taking a look at the design it is possible to observe the presence of the button for deactivating the microphone, a feature now implemented in all Alexa based AI devices.
With the introduction of the product, Amazon goes on to make the Echo range even more complete and versatile, which now ranges from an inexpensive device such as Flex to the most powerful and advanced audio solutions. Among the features of this particular model we obviously mention the possibility of controlling the equipment present in the smart home through simple voice commands.
Price and availability
It is already possible to buy Echo Flex in pre-order on Amazon for the price of Euro 29.99. Shipments will start later this year, according to the information we currently have.
The New Amazon Echo Dot with clock
Designed to be placed on a bedside table in the bedroom or on a shelf, it has a sensor that can automatically adjust its brightness, so as not to annoy when the light is off or at night. It also serves as a real alarm clock: simply touch the top of the device to postpone the alarm and allow yourself another few minutes of sleep before starting the day.
Full support of all Alexa features of course: from the control for the reproduction of multimedia content to the interaction with the equipment in the smart home, without forgetting the search for information online, the creation of reminders and so on.
Price and availability
It is already possible to buy the new Echo Dot with pre-order watch on Amazon at the price of Euro 69.99. At the moment we are not aware of when the shipments of the units will start, but certainly within the year.
All the news from Alexa: Alexa speaks faster, slower, slower
Among the new features of Alexa there are some functions that improve the way the assistant responds and others that allow the user to increase empathy towards the assistant. Important steps forward, therefore, not so much in the intelligence of the process, as in the methods of explanation of the same. A better Alexa, therefore, to improve the listening and interaction experience.
Alexa, talk faster
Alexa, speak faster and these
Alexa, speak more slowly are the two commands that will adjust the speed of Alexa’s responses: therefore the rumors of the past few weeks have been confirmed, when the new function had already been anticipated. It is a function designed for those who do not want to wait for Alexa to beat the words, or for those who prefer to have a clear idea of what Alexa is saying. These are different user experiences, based also on the rate of environmental disturbance present and on the ease or otherwise of hearing what was reported by the assistant.
If customers ask Alexa for information on the weather, the latest news, a sports update, an upcoming event on their calendar, a definition and more, they can choose between seven different speeds: the standard speed of Alexa’s voice, four faster modes and two slower ones.
The man who whispered to Alexa
A special command will not be needed to make Alexa talk more slowly: it will be enough to whisper to get whispered answers, within a question and answer mechanism that also introduces a kind of greater empathy. In this passage there is in fact a part of non-saying: it is not necessary to tell Alexa what tone of voice must hold because, based on the tone of the user’s voice, Alexa understands and reacts autonomously. If the question is whispered, in short, the answer will be the same.
Gone are the days when you had to wake up your partner or partner to ask Alexa the weather, the time when you are late or to turn off the alarm.
Alexa will also be able to respond to an explicit command when a response has not been received by the user. It will therefore be sufficient to ask the assistant to repeat what was heard with phrases like ”
Alexa, tell me what you heard“, or ”
Alexa, why did you do this?“. With an interaction of this type it will be easier to understand how Alexa understands the inputs provided, thus allowing the user to learn the best ways to interact (especially when the answers are unsatisfactory or broken down). Because if Alexa learns, the man can learn even faster: the important thing is to understand each other.