We’ve been getting used to major tech announcements in the past three or four weeks. We’ve heard from Microsoft and Sony in relation to their new video game consoles. Apple has updated us on the progress of their latest creations – although, at the time of writing, there’s still nothing on the iPhone 12. Now Amazon has shown the world what it’s been hiding up its sleeve with its fall hardware announcement, and they’ve caught a lot of people off balance.
Unlike most companies, who seem to leak news to the press to garner attention ahead of big announcements, Amazon has been working on some very big projects in silence. Most of the world’s press didn’t even know where was a major Amazon event scheduled for the past week, and they’ve been playing catchup ever since. While it’s been a challenging year for most tech companies for obvious reasons, Amazon doesn’t appear to have been affected. They’ve been innovating, creating, and developing new toys and tools at what seems to be a frenetic pace, and they had some incredible new technology to show off at their strictly invite-only event.
There’s a full itinerary of everything Amazon showed off at the company’s website, but some of the new announcements are more exciting than others. We believe that we’ve identified the five ‘headline’ pieces of news, and we’re delighted to be able to bring them to you here!
Amazon Echo Has Changed Shape
Most of us are getting used to having a virtual assistant in our homes, whether it’s one made by Amazon, Google, or Apple. In the past, Amazon’s device has been known as the ‘Echo,’ and also the ‘Echo Dot,’ depending on which size of the device you’ve purchased. The ‘Dot’ has now become literal because the newest generation of the company’s flagship home assistant device is spherical. The company has worked with Dolby to improve the sound quality of the device, and also introduced ‘Echo for kids’ with animal designs on the exteriors. A full-sized version with clock display functionality will cost you just under one hundred dollars, with smaller versions available for half that price. You can pre-order them now, or wait for general sale on October 22nd.
The Company Has Developed Its Own Processor
This announcement will probably go unnoticed by a lot of people, but it’s a huge step forward for Amazon. You might have read elsewhere that Apple has invested millions of dollars into developing its own processor chips, which will allow the company to develop Mac Books without the need to rely on Intel to supply those parts. We now know Amazon has been doing the same thing. That might mean that Amazon is ready to start making laptops, but it’s more likely that the new chip will be going inside all of its new voice-activated hardware. The chip is known as the AZ1 Neural Edge and should make voice-activated devices faster by processing responses within the device rather than relying on external or third-party support.
They’re Getting Involved In Video Gaming
This announcement took everyone by surprise. Amazon is hitting the video game market with “Luna,” a video game streaming platform that sounds very similar to Google’s “Stadia” and uses the same model as online slots websites when it comes to providing entertainment. Part of the appeal of online slots websites – aside from the convenience – is that you don’t have to move between physical machines to play slots. You can top up one account, and use the money in that account to play as many slots as you wish until your money runs out. “Luna” will work in a similar manner, allowing gamers to subscribe to as many ‘channels’ as they wish and play all the games on that channel in return for a regular monthly subscription. Details of this exciting development are still emerging at the time of writing, but it’s safe to say that the world of video gaming has been turned on its head.
You Can Now Buy A Home Security Robot
Don’t get too excited by this. Amazon has not – yet – developed a robotic butler to watch your home for you when you’re out. It’s getting there, though, and this innovative security system is definitely a next-level idea. Amazon considers this to be the latest stage in the evolution of Amazon Ring, the company’s interactive doorbell and camera system. Known as the “Always Home” cam, this is a camera mounted on a drone that sits in a special dock and automatically activates when it senses movement near your house when you’re not in. Depending on your preferences, it can then either fly around your home’s interior and record footage or even go outside and chase burglars away. When it’s done its job, it will automatically fly back to its dock and charge itself up. This hugely ambitious-sounding product will set you back two hundred and fifty dollars if you want to be an early adopter of the technology.
There’s A New Facebook Portal Rival
Facebook Portal has been surprisingly popular as a way of helping people stay in touch during the fast few months – most likely because it’s a way of taking part in Zoom calls without keeping your phone in your hand permanently, or sitting very still. Amazon must have looked at that idea and liked it because the company has launched the Echo Show 10 with a brand-new ability – it can now follow you around the room as you move thanks to its motorized base. While Facebook Portal keeps your face in focus wherever you go, Echo Show 10 physically turns on its axis and tracks you from one end of the room to the other. When it’s not streaming camera footage, it can display pretty much anything a tablet can display, so at $250, it’s probably not a bad deal.
Several of these innovations should perhaps be thought of as robots rather than home assistants. If they can guard your home, move to follow you, quickly respond to voice queries and even chase off robbers, they’re definitely robots! Amazon’s hardware collection is a bold, brave look into the home tech of the 2020s, and we hope you found it as exciting to read about as we did.