From a microwave to a clock, Amazon is taking Alexa beyond speakers

Doris Richards
September 24, 2018

Amazon's Alexa voice assistant is coming to automobiles, but not through one of the previously announced high-profile partners like Audi, BMW or Lexus. It is basically an Echo Dot without the speaker and instead connects to an external speaker system using an auxiliary cable or Bluetooth. According to David Limp, the senior vice president of Amazon Devices, the ubiquitous microwave was long overdue for an upgrade.

The Smart Plug is listed at £95 (US$122), which is significantly more expensive than its competitors like the $34 WeMo mini, which also has the choice of Google Assistant and Nest, on top of Alexa.

He revealed a new feature that can understand if a user whispers to the device in an attempt to keep the noise down, with Alexa now knowing to whisper in response.

Despite the Alexa support, there's no microphone inside and no speaker.

Alexa uses artificial intelligence to identify patterns in the lives of users, factoring in habits, weather, time of year and more.

Look out, Apple, Google, and Microsoft: Amazon is trying to muscle in on this month of tech device announcements.

The Echo Link ($199.99) and Echo Link Amp ($299.99) are geared towards audiophiles. Besides the Echo products, Amazon also launched some more Alexa powered devices like Amazon Smart Plug, AmazonBasics Microwave, Fire TV Recast, Alexa Guard, and more. It's got the home pretty well covered, but now it's going out on the road.

The Echo Wall Clock is an analog clock with Alexa brains installed under its dial face. An upcoming feature called local voice control will let you control connected smart plugs and lights even if your internet goes down.

Perhaps the best part of this entire process is that, if chosen, you'll be able to purchase Echo Auto at a 50% discount, bringing the price down to just $24.99. Once the initial setup is complete, Amazon says drivers will simply need to start their vehicle and the Echo Auto will be ready to respond "within just a few seconds". There's also an Alexa button, which can automatically inform the nearby Echo that you're wanting to start commanding the appliance: it means you can skip the "Alexa, microwave..." key-phrase and just say "one potato" or "stop" for swifter results.

With the new products, Amazon is basically aiming to improve the audio experience for the consumers.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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