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Dave

Amazon's new Echo, Smaller and cheaper at $99

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Dave

Amazon announced a new Echo is headed our way.  It's smaller, sounds better, does multi-room audio, and is only $99.

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They also announced a bridge device that will allow you to make calls with Alexa.  It's the Connect and will be $35.  It will use your "landline" service and can even call 911.

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Amazon also announced a 2 for $20 button that is supposed to be for family game night. They demo'd it with a trivia game.  Think "game show" button and there is an API so developers can get busy implementing ideas with these.  I'm thinking home automation though!

 

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I'll update this thread as more information comes out.

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Dave

Amazon announces the Echo Spot alarm clock with 2.5" screen.

 

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It has a line out, bluetooth, and can make video calls.  It will go for $130 and will ship in December.

 

The Echo Plus is Amazon's updated Echo.  It looks the same as it's first iteration, a big tube, but has home smarts built in this time. It's a home automation hub, sort of. It can discover devices and work with them right out of the box.  No skills, drivers, or additional software required.  It ships with a Philips light bulb and will be $149.

 

In another demonstration, Amazon showed Alexa performing multiple tasks with just one voice command.  If you have SmartThings this will be familiar as, Good Night, I'm Home, routines.  Good Night, for example, could turn the lights off, lock the door, and close the shades.  That sort of thing.

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Dave

Hello 4K TV's, Amazon has a new Fire TV Box that is 4K and supports Dolby Atmos HDR technology.  It sells for $69.

 

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SpivR

The built-in hub in the Echo Plus is Zigbee.  Many people asking why they didn't go with Z-wave.  The "PR" answer is that there was enough Z-wave options out there already.

If they wanted a homerun instead of a triple, they should have added both Zigbee and Z-Wave.

 

I like what Amazon is doing, but all their products are always "just a little rough" around the edges in both hardware and software "fit and finish".

It's a shame we can't get the awesome attention to detail of an Apple design with the open/3rd party friendliness of Amazon.

(Then again, it could be worse - we could get the "closed/walled garden" of Nest)

 

Also:

The new "scenes" feature is limited to Amazon built-in automation.  It does not work with 3rd party skills (at least right now).

 

That's a shame - with Stringify being purchased by Comcast/Xfinity, a good toolkit for linking multiple actions into simplified macros/scenes is sorely needed right now.

Edited by SpivR

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