First look

Amazon launches the brand-new Echo, Echo Plus and Echo Spot

Echo Show also gets UK pricing and availability

Amzon Echo with Alexa

Amazon has introduced a slew of brand new Echo devices, expanding its range of AI-powered smart speakers.

At an event in its home base of Seattle, the company took the wraps off several new devices, as well as announcing UK availability for its touchscreen-enabled Echo Show device.

The range now starts with a new look Echo unit, which features a smaller and more compact design, available in a variety of different colours, materials and finishes in a similar manner to Google Home. In addition, it's also got improved speakers and a dedicated tweeter, and better microphone technology for improved voice recognition.

The original-flavour Echo is back, but it's had some upgrades, and it's now dubbed the 'Echo Plus'. It's got a built-in hub for smart home devices too - which means that you'll no longer need an external hub or bridge device to get your smart home products set up. Instead, the Echo Plus will directly connect to compatible plugs, bulbs and other devices from the likes of Philips Hue, Hive and others.

Like the entry-level Echo, the Echo Plus has had an upgrade in audio quality and includes Dolby audio processing and features second-generation far-field voice recognition. It's also now available in a snazzy silver finish.

It's not all about the hardware, though - Amazon hasn't forgotten the brain behind the Echo. Alexa has some new capabilities, including the addition of 'Routines', which allows you to trigger a series of customisable actions with your Echo and connected devices based on the time of day, or on a specific trigger word.

Smart home groups have also been tuned up, allowing users to designate certain rooms for certain Echo units and smart devices, which means that Alexa can make intelligent decisions about which devices to activate when you ask her to do something based on where you are.

Calling and messaging is also coming to Alexa, allowing you to swap voice calls and text messages with your Echo-owning friends and family via their Echo device or Alexa app. There's a new 'Drop In' feature as well, that basically lets two Echo units function like an intercom system.

One of the biggest announcements for businesses, however, is the Echo Connect - an accessory which lets you connect your Echo device to an existing landline or VoIP connection for making and receiving hands-free calls. Presumably, this means that companies will be able to use the Echo as a proper conference-calling and speakerphone solution, making it a much more attractive proposition.

Amazon also unveiled an entirely new product - the Echo Spot. This small, round device features a 2.5in circular display, Alexa functionality and support for making video calls and viewing feeds from security cameras. The Echo Spot feels like a smaller version of the Echo Show, much like how the Echo Dot is for the full-size Echo.

Speaking of the Echo Show, Amazon revealed that the Echo Show is coming to the UK. Priced at 200, the company's screen-based Echo device is available to order now, and will start shipping to customers on 16 November.

The Echo and Echo Plus - priced at 90 and 140, respectively - are also available for pre-order now, and will start being delivered to customers next month. The Echo Connect is coming to the UK early next year, as is the Echo Spot. UK pricing is still to be confirmed for both devices.

Picture credit: Amazon

Featured Resources

Next-generation time series: Forecasting for the real world, not the ideal world

Solve time series problems with AI

Free download

The future of productivity

Driving your business forward with Microsoft Office 365

Free download

How to plan for endpoint security against ever-evolving cyber threats

Safeguard your devices, data, and reputation

Free download

A quantitative comparison of UPS monitoring and servicing approaches across edge environments

Effective UPS fleet management

Free download

Recommended

Verizon and Amazon partner on enterprise connectivity solutions
Network & Internet

Verizon and Amazon partner on enterprise connectivity solutions

27 Oct 2021
UK spy agencies supercharge espionage efforts with AWS data deal
cloud computing

UK spy agencies supercharge espionage efforts with AWS data deal

26 Oct 2021
Oak9’s IaC security platform now available on AWS
Security

Oak9’s IaC security platform now available on AWS

22 Oct 2021
AWS makes its Panorama Appliance generally available
Amazon Web Services (AWS)

AWS makes its Panorama Appliance generally available

21 Oct 2021

Most Popular

UK spy agencies supercharge espionage efforts with AWS data deal
cloud computing

UK spy agencies supercharge espionage efforts with AWS data deal

26 Oct 2021
Cryptocurrency: Should you invest?
cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency: Should you invest?

27 Oct 2021
Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans

11 Oct 2021