Amazon's new range of Echo devices were announced alongside a new Alexa-powered a wall clock, and, yes, a microwave. If only the EchoDot's 3.5mm socket doubled as a mini-TOSLINK digital output. Instead, the product will be available by invitation only later this year. Just plug any of those devices into the Smart Plug and you're all set - the Smart Plug is Alexa-enabled so you can turn your lights on or off, for example, using just your voice, even though they weren't "smart lights" when you bought them. A couple things are simply new versions of devices, and others are brand new, top to bottom.
The most interesting thing about the Echo Plus isn't its size or sound quality-nothing wrong with either.
Updated speakers include the new Echo Dot, which Amazon claims is 70% louder than previous iterations and Echo Auto, which can connect through your phone to play on your cars own speakers while asking for directions. The goal here is to connect all types of devices in your house, tightly integrated with the internet which can be controlled easily with a voice. Another bundle features the Echo Sub with two Echo Plus devices for $249.97. That strategy maybe working out, as it recently passed the 20,000 mark for Alexa-powered smart home devices made by Amazon or partners. Users can then ask Alexa to perform tasks like turning a connected device on and off or turning on multiple devices at once. The study also found that many users felt embarrassed about talking to their devices in public, preferring to use them when alone. Each Smart Plug goes for an affordable $25, and they'll be available on October 11. The device won't be released until 14 November, though American customers can pre-order it right now from Amazon's website.
The Stick Up Cam Wired is mostly described by its name. The device also connects to the vehicle using Bluetooth or an aux cable.
Finally, the weirdest item in the bunch. The AmazonBasics Microwave costs $59.99 (about £45) and comes with quick-cook voice presets, allowing you to verbally command it to cook for you.
Portal will basically use Facebook's AI platform to recognise people in the frame and follow people as they move around the room (which isn't creepy at all) and will also have Amazon's Alexa voice assistant integration. This feels like the real focus of the endeavour, with Limp revealing plans to "ship a lot of Alexa Connect Kits to people who really know how to build and market a microwave".