A new leak-filled report from Bloomberg suggests that Amazon is on the verge of releasing at least three new Echo devices, among other Alexa features.
Around five years ago and after the failure of the Fire smartphone, I would have never expected Amazon to be such a dominant player in the tech space, but the company has proven me wrong with its expansive line of Fire TVs and smart home hardware.
The retail giant has a new hardware event coming up on September 28th, so it stands to reason that we’re about to see several new Echo devices, and this leaked report outlines exactly what we should expect.
The report states that Amazon is working on a new soundbar with Alexa integration and a camera. This would ideally be used to make video calls from your TV, similar to Facebook’s Portal TV device.
This wouldn’t be the first soundbar with built-in access to Alexa, but it would offer users pretty substantial value as a soundbar. It will be interesting to see if it also runs Fire TV or something more akin to an Echo smart display.
Wall-mounted Echo smart display
Amazon has finally done it… reportedly. The leaks also mention that the company is working to port over a 15-inch smart display into some sort of wall-mounted smart home controller. I think this is a really smart idea, even if people don’t naturally gravitate towards buying it.
In my apartment, the moment I raised my smart display from table height to counter height, I started interacting with its touchscreen on it a lot more. I think this is simply because now I don’t have to bend over to use it.
That said, the leak indicates Amazon’s device will feature a 15-inch screen, which seems a little large. Still, I’ll reserve any more judgement until I see what it’s like if Amazon actually reveals it next week.
New Echo Auto
Alongside the other two new pieces of hardware, it looks like Amazon isn’t giving up on its in-car smart assistant dreams. The latest update may include a way to charge a user’s smartphone.
I always found the Echo Auto a bit of an awkward device, so it will be exciting to see if Amazon has innovated on the previous version in any meaningful way if this leak ends up being true.
We might not see the Alexa robot
Over the past few years, there have been several rumours that Amazon is working on a smart home robot akin to the Samsung Ballie robot, at least in concept. However, the latest report claims that some Amazon engineers are against the product and are not sure that it’s actually something people want.
They might be right.
Karaoke feature on Alexa
The report also mentions a scrapped Karaoke machine that featured Alexa. This sounds hilarious and kind of useful if you could ask Amazon’s assistant to play songs back for you to sing along to.
Overall, this is stacking up to be a pretty lacklustre Amazon show, but perhaps the company will have a few surprises that will steal the headlines. The event takes place on Tuesday, September 28th at 12pm ET/9am PT.