Roughly this time last year, Amazon unleashed a ton of Alexa devices on the world, including the Spot and new Echos. It follows, then, that the company’s got something up its sleeve for this year, just in time to prime the pump ahead of the holidays.
According to a report from CNBC, the retail giant is planning to release “at least” eight Alexa hardware devices at an event later this month. The list is certainly diverse, including an automotive gadget, amplifier, a receiver and a subwoofer. Those last three likely work in tandem and would put the company in direct competition with the likes of Sonos.
Ditto for the automotive. Companies like Garmin already offer in-car Alexa products, while carmakers have begun incorporating the assistant into their infotainment systems. It’s an interesting tact, given that the company has appeared more inclined to let third parties do much of the heavy lifting with Alexa of late. Many of the low-cost Echo products feel as much like reference designs as anything.
Most interesting of the bunch is a voice-powered microwave oven. Certainly the voice assistant would make sense on this manner of appliance — though a proprietary device would be ambitious for a company that’s already partnered with multiple appliance makers.
Refreshes of existing products like the Show could make sense here, especially as Google has stepped up its gain with a new line of third-party Smart Displays. The long-awaited high-end HomePod competitor could, perhaps, be in the works, as well.
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Author: Brian Heater