Reports have surfaced that Amazon is looking to increase their Internet of Things (IoT) product catalogue with eight new Alexa-powered smart home devices later this year, including items such as a microwave and subwoofer.
The devices will be a wide-ranging offering of voice-controlled gadgets: a microwave oven, some type of in-car gadget, and a set of higher-end home audio gear, including an amplifier, receiver, and subwoofer. The report from CNBC states that Amazon is planning to detail at least some of these devices at an event some time later this month.
With Amazon expanding into even more hardware categories is believed will significantly heat up the smart home market, which is already flooded with Alexa-powered devices that either incorporate Amazon’s voice assistant exclusively or offer it as one of four prominent options alongside Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana, though its fair to say that Cortana smart devices aren’t readily available here in Austraila…….yet.
CNBC also reports that some of these upcoming smart home devices will have Alexa built in, while others will connect to other Alexa-enabled devices for voice control access.
What is slightly interesting, is that nowhere in the report from CNBC, does it state if these new smart home devices will be branded with Amazon’s Echo brand. Amazon has historically used the Echo brand for home audio products and with the rumoured products including devices in this category it will be interesting to see if these at least expand that line.
of course, these type of products would also put Amazon in direct competition with companies including Sonos, who have increasingly relied on Alexa to power voice control features and other artificial intelligence tasks. An example of this would be its recently announced update for its soundbar and home amplifier which included support for Alexa.
Amazon is still a very small player in the Australian market having only launched here under a year ago. They’ve been attempting to increase brand awareness in Australia with efforts including becoming official sponsors of Channel 9’s renovation series, The Block.
Of course, we will be keeping an eye out for news of the event and products Amazon could be launching later this month.