Amazon is working on a soundbar and an Echo device you hang on your wall
The company is also looking at new car tech and wearables.
Mark Gurman over at Bloomberg might be better known for Apple news, but that’s not the only hardware he scoops. According to a new report, Amazon is working on a bunch of new devices, including wearables, better car tech, its own soundbar, and a large Echo to hang on your wall.
This is all coming out of the company’s Lab126 division, which was responsible for Alexa and the original Echo speaker. While all of the products mentioned in the report are at varying levels of completion, we might get release dates for some soon as Amazon is holding a launch event on September 28.
The main focus of all these devices is to make Alexa more present than she already is, with a second-generation Echo Auto device, deals with automakers like Ford to put the voice assistant directly into your dash, and new wearables for kids and senior citizens. There’s even an Alexa karaoke microphone in development, but with the team working on it being disbanded, that might not see the light of day.
A new soundbar to sit in front of your TV is coming, with a front-facing camera to turn your TV into a video conferencing tool. They’re even working on a home robot, that will follow you around and remind you of calendar items. This might not end up going on sale, thanks to concerns over commercial viability.
The star of the report is a large Alexa-enabled Echo device with a huge 15-inch display. Gurman’s sources say this can either mount on a wall or on a stand, and is designed to be a smart home hub, controlling everything from appliances to tracking incoming Amazon packages, the weather, and other uses like showing cooking how-to videos.
The other interesting tidbit? Amazon is working on its own custom chips for Echo devices. That will mean all three main voice assistant companies all have their software running on their own chips, which should improve user satisfaction.
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