At an event in the US overnight, Amazon unveiled a new range of Echo devices some of which are coming here and some that aren’t, as well as some new appliances in the Amazon Basics range, Smart Home and a new Ring Stick Up Cam. We covered what’s coming here…now here’s what isn’t.
First up, here’s a list of what was announced – and (as far as we know) whether it’s coming to Australia:
- New Amazon Echo Dot – Coming to Australia
- New Amazon Echo Plus – Coming to Australia
- New Amazon Echo Show – Coming to Australia
- Amazon Echo Sub – Coming to Australia
- Amazon Echo Auto – Not Coming to Australia
- Amazon Echo Clock – Not Coming to Australia
- Amazon Echo Input – Not Coming to Australia
- Amazon Echo Link and Link Amp – Not Coming to Australia
- Amazon Basics Microwave – Not Coming to Australia
- Amazon Smart Plug – Not Coming to Australia
- Amazon Fire TV Recast – Not Coming to Australia
So let’s get into what’s not coming here.
It is what it says it is – this is Amazon Echo for your car. The Echo Auto connects to your car stereo via 3.5mm audio jack or via Bluetooth and is powered either by USB or 12V power outlet through your cigarette lighter…if your car still has one. The device then uses your phones internet connection to connect to the cloud.
The Echo Auto includes an eight-microphone array which they say is ‘designed for in-car acoustics and speech recognition technology’. This tuning allows the Echo Auto to here you when you call Alexa, even over the music on the stereo, the HVAC blowing air through the vents, road noise and that A**hole next to you laying on the horn.
You can use Alexa on the Echo Auto like you would any other Echo device letting it read you the news, listen to music or Audiobooks and even control your smarthome.
Echo Auto is only available via invitation for $24.99, but if you want to know more you can head over to Amazon in the US to check it out.
The Echo Clock is an interesting idea, it’s a companion device which pairs with your Amazon Echo using Bluetooth and then let’s you see the time – it syncs automatically to show the correct time – as well as timers with the option to see how much time is remaining on there thanks to a 60 LED ring around the clock face.
The Echo Clock is battery powered and will sit unobtrusively out of the way on your wall replacing a wall clock with something quite smart.
The Clock isn’t available for pre-order yet, but will cost $29.99 when it goes on-sale. You can check it out on their US website.
Amazon Echo Input
The puck looking device is only 12.5mm tall and includes the same far-field 4-microphone array that you find on the Echo Dot – but without the speaker.
The Echo Input is priced at $34.99 on their US website and no date has been given for the launch beyond being available later this year.
Echo Link and Echo Link Amp
These two products are for the audio-phile who wants to have Alexa included in their existing audio equipment – sort of the Echo Input but on a larger scale. You can control both the Echo Link and Echo Link Amp – and hence your HiFi setup – through your Alexa app, or your Echo devices with voice commands
The Echo Link connects to your HiFi system to stream music services and includes all the inputs (analog, optical, and coax line-ins) and outputs (analog, optical, coax, headphone 3.5mm, and subwoofer line-outs) you could want, as well as an ethernet connection for reliable internet connection. The Echo Link also supports multi-room music support with Alexa.
The Echo Link Amp is essentially an Echo Link with an amplifier built-in. Amazon say sit includes a 60W 2-channel amp inside with ‘left-right speaker binding post outputs’ allowing you to wire in your passive and non-powered speakers directly.
While you can control the Echo Link and Echo Link Amp wirelessly, a volume knob on the front lets you do it manually if you want.
Amazon Basics Microwave
I admit I’m torn on this one, but an Alexa powered microwave sounds awesome in concept. The Amazon Basics Microwave doesn’t have Alexa built-in, like the Wall Clock it’s a companion device which connects to your Echo and you can then control it with your voice…like so:
- Cook with your voice: With AmazonBasics Microwave, ask Alexa to reheat, defrost, or microwave for your desired cook time and power level. Plus, use a variety of quick-cook voice presets such as, “Alexa, microwave two potatoes” or “Alexa, reheat a cup of coffee” and the AmazonBasics Microwave takes care of the rest. Since Alexa is always getting smarter, new quick-cook voice presets will be added regularly.
- Never run out of popcorn: Now you don’t have to keep track of how much popcorn is in your pantry or worry about running out for family movie night. AmazonBasics Microwave is integrated with Amazon Dash Replenishment and with the Auto Popcorn Replenishment feature, can automatically reorder popcorn before you run out.
- The “Ask Alexa” button: When the built-in Ask Alexa button is pressed, your paired Echo device wakes up and will begin listening for a microwave command. Simply press and say “two minutes and 30 seconds on medium” and AmazonBasics Microwave starts cooking. With the Ask Alexa button, there’s no need to say “Alexa” or “microwave.”
At 700W it doesn’t look incredibly powerful, but as the ‘Basics’ monniker suggests it’s just a basic microwave with 10 power levels, a kitchen timer, a child lock, and a turntable inside to put your food on.
The Amazon Basics Microwave will cost $59.99 when it goes on-sale in November. You can check it out on the Amazon US website here.
Amazon Smart Plug
….it’s a smart plug. We’ve got a heap of these doo-dads in Australia so this is simply Amazon’s effort. Once you plug it in, you can use Alexa through an Echo enabled device to ‘control your lights, fans, coffee maker, and more’.
You can apparently incorporate the plugs – and any devices plugged into them – into your Alexa routines through the app which is neat. It’s also easy to setup with Amazon saying all you do is ‘plug in, open the Alexa app, and start using your voice’.
The Smart Plug is really US-only, with only a US power pin configuration but it will cost $24.99 when it goes on-sale on October 11 through their US website.
Amazon FireTV Recast
Now this is quite awesome. The FireTV Recast is a DVR that lets you ‘easily watch, record, and replay free over-the-air TV programming on Fire TV, Echo Show, and on compatible Fire tablet, iOS, and Android devices’ – awesome right? You simply plug an antenna in and then let it go.
There’s two models – one with dual-tuners and a 500GB drive that lets you record two shows at once and holds up to 75 hours of HD programming, or a quad-tuner model with a 1TB drive that lets you record up to four shows at once and holds up to 150 hours of HD programming, and you can then stream the content on either device to any two compatible devices at a time says Amazon.
The dual-tuner model will cost you $229.99, while the quad-tuner model will cost $279.99 with shipping starting on November 14. You can view more on their US website.