Amazon released four new Echo devices today, adding to the original Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Echo Tap and Echo Look. It also adds more of its own flavor to the dozens of AVS-enabled products that are on the market, including the Fire Tablet and FireTV.
While there is a lot to digest, here’s an initial reaction…
Echo Plus. This device makes sense for Amazon to integrate a hub into the device. The fact that you can now get 100+ devices controlled through this one with needing a separate hug is a hassle and time savings. It also keeps Amazon in the center of the home for IOT usage data.
Echo Spot. A mini Echo Show, this is designed for the bedside but maybe it makes more sense on a desk? It might be a little creepy to keep a camera device in the bedroom. Amazon might realize it’s getting very soon… TMI.
Echo Connect. This is interesting. It basically adds speakerphone calling to a regular landline. This probably bridges the gap for those wanting to use the Echo like a personal emergency response service (PERS) for older family members.
Echo Button. Hmm… this is interesting. I can see new Alexa Skills being developed just for a button and how this could be used with something like jeopardy as a buzzer.
So Plus, Spot, Connect, Button, Show, Dot, Tap, Look. All told, 11 different pieces of Amazon hardware with Alexa support that different form factors. What Amazon has done is further pushed itself ahead in the ambient voice interaction space. Even Google Home and Nest would need to introduce many different devices to catch up at least on the type of device count.
Some of these products will likely be phased out but we’re seeing Alexa being turned into a major brand on its own.