Amazon unveils new hardware lineup
The new products will utilize ambient computing to create a more connected experience across devices
Amazon unveiled a new hardware lineup on Tuesday that will utilize ambient computing to provide customers with a more connected experience across their devices.
Below is a FOX Business roundup of the announcements.
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Amazon Smart Thermostat
The Amazon Smart Thermostat, developed in partnership with experts from Honeywell Home thermostat maker Resideo, is Energy Star-certified and compatible with Alexa and most 24V HVAC systems. When users say, "Alexa, good night," the thermostat will adjust the temperature higher or lower based on their preferences.
The Amazon Smart Thermostat costs $59.99, half the price of a normal smart thermostat sold on Amazon, and can be $10 or even free for eligible customers after applying utility provider rebates.
Echo Show 15
The Echo Show 15, which costs $249.99, can be mounted on a wall or placed on a stand in portrait or landscape mode.
The device features a 15.6 inch screen, which supports 1080p video streaming, and a series of Alexa widgets allowing families to control all of their smart home devices and have a shared calendar in one place, send sticky notes to each other, and view live camera feeds while doing various activities, such as listening to music or following a recipe.
In addition, Echo Show 15 can display family pictures or pre-loaded art through its Photo Frame feature and offers an optional visual ID feature, in which Alexa will display personalized content through the use of facial recognition.
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Amazon's new home assistant, Astro, integrates Alexa, advanced hardware, software, computer vision, and artificial intelligence.
The robot uses a periscope camera with an expandable field of view to proactively patrol your home and send you notifications when it detects something unusual. Videos taken by Astro can be saved to a customer's Ring account. In addition, Astro can detect the sound of a smoke alarm, carbon monoxide alarm, or glass breaking, and send an alert to your phone using Alexa Guard and can follow you from room to room while playing your favorite shows, podcasts, or music.
Astro, which costs $999.99 and includes a six-month trial of the Ring Protect Pro, will begin shipping to customers later this year. Amazon customers can request an invite to buy Astro through the company's Day 1 Edition program.
Amazon Glow allows family and friends to interact with kids in real-time through a shared virtual space. Kids will have access to a pre-selected group of contacts created by their parents and the device features a "visible privacy shutter" that can be closed at any time, instantly disabling cameras and microphones.
Amazon Glow projects a 19-inch touch-sensitive area where kids can engage in hundreds of hours of hands on, interactive games and art activities, including solving puzzles through Tangram or turning their favorite toy into a digital sticker through object scanning. Glow also comes with a free, one-year subscription of Amazon Kids+.
Amazon Glow currently partners with Disney, Mattel, Nickelodeon and Sesame Workshop and will be opened up to a limited number of outside developers in 2022. Amazon Glow costs $299.99, though a limited number of customers will be invited to purchase early access for $249.99. Customers can sign up now to test it and the devices will be shipped in the coming weeks.
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Alexa Together is a new subscription service designed to make elderly family members feel more comfortable and confident living independently.
The service includes an Urgent Response feature for 24/7 access to a professional emergency helpline and is compatible with third-party devices that can detect when someone has fallen at home. It also has a Remote Assist feature that allows loved ones to set reminders, link music services, or add contacts to their elderly family member's Alexa account for hands-free calling.
Alexa Together will launch later this year for $19.99 a month after a free six-month trial for new customers. Existing Care Hub customers will be given a one-year free trial.
Hey Disney! voice assistant
The Hey Disney! voice assistant brings beloved characters from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and a new Disney Magical Companion to Alexa. Hey Disney!, which will be available both at home and in Walt Disney World Resort hotels, features jokes, interactive trivia and 3D soundscapes, and much more. ‘Hey, Disney!’ is expected to be available for purchase in the U.S. in the Alexa Skills Store for use on all supported Echo devices beginning in 2022. In addition, Amazon unveiled a new $24.99 Mickey Mouse-inspired stand for Echo Show 5 made by Otterbox.
Halo View, Fitness and Nutrition
Amazon is taking on Google's Fitbit and Apple Watch with a fitness tracker called Halo View, which features a vibrant AMOLED color display that shows health metrics, live workout training and more. Halo View costs at $79.99 and offers up to seven days of battery life and a swim-proof design. Halo View comes in three sports band colors that can be made out of fabric, metal, or leather.
Amazon is also offering Halo Fitness, which features hundreds of studio-quality workouts led by industry experts, and Halo Nutrition, which offers personalized tools to develop healthy eating habits. Halo Fitness classes are integrated with Halo hardware to offer real-time metrics, such as your live heart rate and hear rate intensity zone. The service will roll out to all Halo members starting later this year.
Meanwhile, a new Halo Nutrition service will allow users to create a curated weekly menu tailored to their preferences, pulling over 500 recipes from partners including Weight Watchers, LifeSum, and Whole Foods Market. It will also connect their Alexa Shopping list to view all of their grocery needs in one place. The service will roll out next year and will be included in the Halo membership.
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Ring Always Home Cam, Alarm Pro, Jobsite Security, Virtual Security Guard
Amazon is also stepping up its Ring security features with the Always Home Cam, an autonomous indoor flying camera for $249.99.
The Always Home Cam can be programmed through the Ring app to fly a preplanned route. It also can be set to do routes based on a triggered event, such as flying to a Ring Door Alarm sensor when it's tripped in away mode. The Always Home Cam will only film when it's in motion and cover the camera lens while docked.
In addition, Amazon will offer the new $249.99 Ring Alarm Pro, which features a base station and built-in eero Wi-Fi 6 router. The Ring Alarm Pro features alarm and motion detectors, reliable wi-fi, and professional monitoring and online threat protection. Ring Protect Plan subscribers can insert Ring Edge, a microSD card, into the Alarm Pro to have all of their Ring cameras process and store videos locally, offering more control and reducing the cameras' total bandwidth use.
Ring will also offer protection for businesses through its $399.99 Jobsite Security feature, which is available now for pre-order at HomeDepot.com. Ring Jobsite security cameras, which are powered using battery or solar, include a base station with a protective case and can be installed wirelessly. With the addition of a Ring Protect Plan, the Jobsite security camera can work off a cellular-only internet connection.
The final Ring feature announced Tuesday is the Virtual Security Guard subscription service, which gives customers the option to have a professional security company monitor their Ring cameras. A security professional will monitor only the cameras of your choosing and respond to any unwanted activity accordingly.
Virtual Security Guard will initially partner with Rapid Response before expanding to other third-party security providers in the future. Customers can sign up now for free early access for a limited time. After that, Rapid Response monitoring will start at $99 per month, per location.
Blink Video Doorbell, Floodlight Cam & Solar Panel Mount
In addition to Ring, Amazon is expanding its line of Blink products with the first-generation Blink Video Doorball, which can be installed wired or wire-free, and features long-lasting battery life, HD video, night vision, motion detection, two-way audio, and alerts integrated with Alexa.
Amazon also unveiled a battery-powered Blink floodlight camera and wireless Blink solar panel mount, which will both work in tandem with the Blink outdoor camera.
The Blink products are available for pre-order for $49.99, $139.98 and $129.98, respectively.