The 11 biggest announcements at Amazon’s hardware launch event

Illustration of the Amazon logo
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Amazon just held its fall hardware launch event, where it revealed a ton of new tech, including a new Kindle Scribe, an updated Fire TV cube, and a second-generation Echo Auto device. Here’s a roundup of some of the most exciting announcements that came out of Amazon’s event.

The new Kindle Scribe comes with a stylus

A man holding an Amazon Kindle Scribe in a coffee shop. Image: Amazon
Amazon’s new Kindle Scribe has an E-Ink display.

Kindles aren’t just for reading anymore — the newest Kindle is an E-Ink tablet that you can use for reading and writing. It comes with a 10.2-inch screen with 300ppi, along with a Basic Pen or Premium Pen option for the stylus.

The Premium Pen costs $30 more and comes with a customizable shortcut button and a sensor for an eraser. With the standard stylus, the device costs $339 and is available for preorder today.

The fifth-gen Echo Dot speakers have new sensors and better audio

 Image: Amazon
The new Echo Dot speakers have improved audio.

Amazon revealed two new Echo Dot speakers: one that comes with a clock and one that comes without. While they may look similar to the previous generation, the devices now come with improved audio along with a temperature sensor and tap-to-gesture controls. Meanwhile, the Echo Dot with Clock has a brighter LED display with a higher resolution.

You can now use Echo speakers as Wi-Fi extenders

Along with two new Echo Dot speakers, Amazon announced that you’ll be able to use the devices as Wi-Fi extenders for your Eero Mesh Wi-Fi network.

While that ability is coming with the new Echo speakers Amazon announced above, it’s also coming to fourth-gen Echo speakers on October 20th, as well as fourth-gen Echo Dot devices in the “coming months.”

Amazon reveals an upgraded Echo Auto device

An Amazon Echo Auto mounted to the center console of a car, just below buttons for seat heater controls. Image: Amazon
The updated Echo Auto is smaller and should be easier to fit in your car.

Amazon also showed off the new Echo Auto, a device it hasn’t updated since 2018. Like its predecessor, Echo Auto puts Alexa in your car, giving you hands-free control over your car’s audio system, Bluetooth-connected calls, and more.

The second-gen Echo Auto costs $54.99 and is smaller, which should make it easier to find room to mount it on your dashboard. It also has fewer mics when compared to the original, at five instead of eight, but it makes up for that with improved algorithms that help it detect voice commands over other sounds in the car, like your radio or AC.

An Alexa-based BMW voice assistant

Even though some BMW cars already support Alexa, BMW is now taking the voice assistant’s tech to build its own system through Amazon’s Alexa Custom Assistant program. BMW plans on rolling out its own assistant to cars sometime in the next two years.

A sleep-tracking bedside light called Halo Rise

Image of the Rise, a circular device with a three-quarter ring of LEDs, and a small clock at the bottom. Image: Amazon
The Halo Rise wakes you up with light and sound.

Amazon also showed off the Halo Rise, a device you place on your nightstand that tracks your sleep using sensors for movement and breathing that are supposed to tell you how well you slept. You can also use it as an alarm clock — it wakes you up with lights and sound.

The device will cost $139.99 when it comes out later this year.

The new Fire TV Cube lets you control your cable box with your voice

An image of the Amazon Fire TV Cube (2022) sitting below a television on a stand. Image: Amazon
The new Fire TV Cube is supposed to be 20 percent faster than its predecessor.

The latest iteration of Amazon’s Fire TV Cube comes with several upgrades. This includes an HDMI input so you can plug in and control your cable box by voice, a new “super-resolution upscaling” feature to boost the resolution of high-definition content, support for Wi-Fi 6E, as well as a new eight-core chip that Amazon says is 20 percent faster than the previous device.

The new Fire TV Cube costs $139.99. Preorders for the device start today, and it will ship in October.

A pair of high-end 4K Fire TVs

An image of Amazon’s Fire TV Omni QLED television on a wall with onscreen widgets for weather, sticky notes, music, and more. Image: Amazon
Amazon’s QLED Fire TVs come in 65- and 75-inch sizes.

In addition to a new Fire TV Cube, Amazon also took the wraps off two new Fire TV Omni QLED TVs that come with ambient light sensors that dim the display when no one’s around. The 65-inch TV starts at $799, while the larger 75-inch TV costs $1,099.99.

A Pan and Tilt mount for the Blink Mini

The scene is a wooden kitchen counter with a flower pot offset to the right, and in the center is the Blink Mini cam, which is a blocky black and white device. It’s mounted on a white bullet-shaped body that makes it look like a Pixar-style robot device. There’s a cable running out the back. Image: Amazon
You can place an existing Blink Mini atop this Pan and Tilt mount.

Amazon has introduced a way to transform your current Blink Mini cam into a stationary device with a camera you can fully control. Simply place the camera atop the new Mini Pan Tilt mount, set it on a table or mantle, and then remotely look around the room from the Blink app.

The Mini Pan Tilt mount costs $29.99, or you can purchase it with an accompanying Mini cam for $59.99.

The Ring Spotlight Pro is a more advanced cam with a wireless option

 Image: Ring
The Ring Spotlight Pro comes in wireless, wired, and solar panel-powered options.

Ring’s new Spotlight Cam Pro comes packed with more advanced features, such as 3D motion detection, color pre-roll, and Bird’s Eye View, which is more unusual in a device that has a wireless option.

While the wired and wireless versions both cost $229.99, the solar panel-powered model costs $249.99. They’re available for preorder today.

Amazon’s Astro robot can now detect your pet

Amazon didn’t leave its $1,449.99 Astro robot out of the event. The two-wheeled bot got a new upgrade that lets it detect your pets and sends you a video of them when it senses motion.



Source: The Verge

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