Amazon has unveiled a new range of devices and services across the various brands it owns at the 2023 Devices Event. The tech giant has announced some major upgrades to its voice assistant Alexa, which is now powered by generative AI, and other products like Echo, Ring, Fire TV, and Eero.
Outgoing Alexa and Echo chief Dave Limp, who announced last month that he was leaving the company after 13 years of service, made his final appearance at the event along with other presenters to show off the new Fire tablets, a Fire TV Soundbar, the Eero Max 7 router, updated Echo Frames, and new security devices from Amazon’s Ring and Blink brands.
Amazon 2023 Devices Event: New Announcements
Here are all the new devices and features announced at the Amazon Devices Event 2023 that you need to know about
1. AI-Powered Alexa
Amazon previewed an even smarter, and more conversational version of its Alexa voice assistant, which will now be powered by generative artificial intelligence (AI). The company has implemented a new large language model (LLM) that is optimized for voice interactions, making Alexa much faster and more powerful than before.
The system provides news information in real-time, responds to commands in an instant, and controls your smart home with high efficiency.
The company’s U.S. customers will soon be able to experience some of the capabilities of generative AI by striking a conversation with Alexa just by saying, “Alexa, let’s chat” to their Echo smart devices.
Amazon says that with the new upgrade, speaking to Alexa will feel more natural and conversational than before, with remarkable improvements being made in the voice assistant’s ability to reason, infer customer intent, and understand complex requests.
With generative AI tools implemented, Alexa will be able to directly compete with other language models in the market, like Microsoft’s Bing, Google’s Bard, and OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
2. New Alexa Features
Here are some of the new features Amazon is bringing to Alexa:
- Eye Gaze Mode
Considering the realities of customers with speech and mobility disabilities, Amazon has introduced a new feature called Eye Gaze Mode that will allow them to perform pre-set actions for Alexa by simply gazing at their Fire Max 11 tablets. Users can play music and movies, control their home environment, and even call their loved ones completely hands and voice-free.
The feature will be available exclusively to Amazon customers in the U.S., UK, Germany, and Japan at launch.
- Call Translation
Alexa now has the ability to translate audio and video calls in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese in real-time. Call Translation will be available on the Echo Show and Alexa mobile app for users in the U.S., UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain later this year. It is said to support 10 languages at launch.
- AI Art on Fire TV
Alexa will soon be able to listen to your voice and create AI-generated artwork on your Fire TV device. All you need to do is give it an imagination-driven prompt and watch as it is translated into a unique piece of art on your display.
- Alexa Emergency Assist
With the Alexa Emergency Assist, you will now be able to get instant access to all safety and emergency services at home, 24/7, and hands-free. The system will notify your emergency contacts, send Smart Alerts, and notify Urgent Response in times of distress.
Alexa Emergency Assist can be subscribed to by U.S. customers for $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year. Grand Plus subscribers can get access to the service for $4.99 or $49.99 per year.
- Game Start Routines
Now you can let Alexa know when your favorite sports team is about to play and it will create a custom routine that is automatically initiated on matchdays. Game Start Routine helps you choose from over a thousand professional and college sports teams. Currently, it supports NFL, NBA, MLS, MLB, and WNBA games in the U.S.
- Top Connections and Email To Alexa
Users can add the Top Connections widget to their Echo Show 8, 10, and 15 devices to take a glance at their favorite contacts or most frequently used devices at home. It will help you initiate a quick call with a single tap.
Alexa will also help you manage your family calendar. Just send an email, invite, or photo of an event to Alexa, and it will automatically extract important details, add them to your calendar, and send you a confirmation.
3. Echo Frames
The all-new Echo Frames and Carrera Smart Glasses collection make the most of Alexa’s AI capabilities. Now you can call on Alexa for all kinds of day-to-day activities like adding items to your shopping list, turning off the lights at home, or playing music with just a tap or by asking the voice assistant.
The frames come in seven different colors and also have multiple lens options to choose from, such as sunglasses with UV protection, doctor-prescribed lenses, and blue light lenses for those who spend most of their time in front of screens.
The devices are also IPX splash and scratch-resistant and will get up to six hours of continuous media playback and talk time, or up to 14 hours on full battery with moderate usage. This time around the smart glasses support wireless charging, making them more user-friendly. .
4. Echo Show 8
The latest generation Echo Show 8 comes with an upgraded design, a faster processor, and a built-in smart home hub to control all your smart home devices from one place. With a new centrally-positioned camera module and background noise minimization, users will be able to make better and much richer video calls.
The smart speaker is powered by a patented audio processing and room adaptation technology that reads the mood in any given room and fine-tunes its audio accordingly, creating a more immersive and wider sound experience.
5. Echo Hub
Amazon Echo Hub is an Alexa-powered wall-mounted smart home control panel. With an eight-inch touchscreen and a customizable dashboard for all your smart home devices, you can initiate your home security systems, start a Routine, turn on the fan, control the lights, or change the volume on the Echo, all with a simple tap.
Coming to you live from our 2023 Devices & Services Event at Amazon’s HQ2 in Arlington, Virginia, where AI takes center stage. There's so much new, cool stuff we have to share – we're so excited for how these updates will improve our customers' everyday lives. Let’s get into it.… pic.twitter.com/6JBJIzYyTq— Amazon (@amazon) September 20, 2023
The smart home controller allows you to view live feeds from multiple cameras, with added support for over 140,000 smart devices that are powered by all major connectivity standards. The Echo Hub can also get power-over-ethernet from devices like Eero PoE Gateway using a USB-C converter.
Echo Hub will be available for $179.99 at launch.
6. Eero Max 7
Eero Max 7 is the first WiFi 7 mesh system by Amazon, combining the company’s patented TrueMesh networking technology with the WiFi 7 standard to phenomenally increase ethernet speeds, avoid network interference, and improve mesh latency. It also powers 10 Gigabit Ethernet, making it possible to download a 4K movie in under 10 seconds or a 50 GB video game in less than a minute.
Eero Max 7 will be available in one, two, and three packs starting at $599.
7. Fire TV Stick 4K and 4K Max
The second generation Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K features a 1.7 GHZ quad-core processor, making it 30% more powerful than last year’s model. The streaming stick now supports WiFi 6E, 4K Ultra HD playback, and Dolby Atmos audio.
Meanwhile, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max is the company’s smartest streaming stick yet. It is powered by a 2.0 GHz quad-core processor that supports WiFi 6E, with nearly three times the frequency bandwidth, delivering lower latency and faster speeds without interference from other WiFi-enabled devices at home. The streaming stick supports 4K Ultra HD visuals, Dolby Vision, HDR, HDR10+, and Dolby Atmos audio.
Fire Stick 4K and Fire Stick 4K Max can be pre-order for $49.99 and $59.99, respectively.
8. Ring Stick Up Cam Pro
In the home security department, Amazon has introduced a new Ring camera with improved camera and audio features. The Ring Stick Up Cam Pro indoor/outdoor camera offers an aerial view of your property with radar-based 3D Motion Detection, Bird’s Eye Zones, Bird’s Eye View, and refined motion alerts.
The smart camera has a two-array microphone system with echo cancellation for clearer audio capture, and Color Pre-Fill, which gives you a history of all detected motions.
Ring Stick Up Cam Pro, which is available in battery, plug-in, and solar-powered variants.
pre-order at $179.99 and will start shipping in October.
9. Blink Outdoor 4 Floodlight Camera
This year, Amazon is bringing powerful motion-triggered LED lighting to its popular wireless smart security floodlight, which promises up to two years of battery life on default settings.
The Blink Outdoor 4 Floodlight Cmaera starts at $159.98 and will ship from next month. For those who want to convert their Blink Outdoor 4 into a floodlight camera.
pre-order the Floodlight Mount Accessory for $39.99.
10. Fire HD 10 Kids tablets
The Fire HD 10 Kids and Fire HD 10 Kids Pro tablets are designed for children aged 3-12 years. The updated tablets now have a 10-inch, 1080 Full HD display, and 3GB of RAM. The company also says it has improved the devices’ performance and battery, which lasts for up to 13 hours on a single charge with moderate use.
The Fire HD 10 Kids and Fire HD Kids 10 Pro can be pre-ordered in the U.S. for $189.99 and will be shipped starting in October 2023.
With all these new products and more announced by Amazon at the Devices event 2023, the company seeks to transform the relationship between technology and humans. By integrating systems like generative AI, Amazon aims to create an environment where machines and humans can co-exist and enrich each other.