Today Amazon held a hardware event that was loaded with new product announcements. We got new Echo speakers, a new Echo Show, and even a microwave.
In many ways, the sprawling event was a showcase of how far Alexa has come in the four years since Amazon’s voice assistant was first introduced in 2014. The technology has evolved far beyond its early capabilities on the original Echo speaker.
Here are all the biggest announcements:
NEW ECHO DOT
Amazon says it “went back to the drawing board” when designing the new Echo Dot. The company says it features a larger 1.6-inch driver, is 70 percent louder than the previous model, and much clearer sounding. It retains both Bluetooth and aux output if you want to hook it up to a bigger speaker you’ve already got.
The new Echo Dot costs the same $49.99. Preorders start today, and it ships in October.
Amazon says it has built the ultimate portable device for taking Alexa on the road. The Echo Auto will be available to start on an invite basis for $24.99 before expanding to all customers and jumping in price to $49.99.
The Echo Auto connects to Alexa through your phone and plays over your car’s speakers. It features eight microphones that the company says can make out your voice even over road noise and music. You can do all the usual Alexa commands, and when you ask for directions, the Echo Auto will send you to Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze, or whatever your preferred navigation app is.
The new, tiny Echo Input is meant to be plugged into speakers you already own; there’s not one built in. It contains a far-field microphone array for Alexa commands, but in a sleeker, put-it-anywhere form factor than even the Dot. The Echo Input is just 12.5mm tall. It’s coming later this year for $34.99.