Amazon has just held a hardware event today where they unveiled a new series of Echo products.
Principal amongst them is a new Amazon Echo, which is shorter, squatter and covered in fabric, which should help it blend better into your decor.
The device features a dedicated bass tweeter and support for multi-room audio, and will only cost $99, or $150 for 3.
Amazon also showed off a new Echo Plus, which is closer to the traditional Echo device, which also includes a built-in smart hub for home automation. The Echo Plus is intended to make home automation easier and will come with a free Phillips Hue bulb for $150.
Even prettier is the Echo Spot, which is an Echo intended for the bedside which will retail for $130. It features a 2.5-inch screen and offers all the features of the Echo Show, including making video calls, but only cost $130.
Further good news is that the Echo Show, announced earlier this year, will soon be on sale in UK and Germany.
The Amazon Echo Show will cost £199.99 in UK and €219.99 in Germany, with a £/€100 discount if you buy two.
The Echo Show will be available for pre-order from 27 September with deliveries later in 2017.
Echo can also make free phone calls to United States, Canada, and Mexico, (and coming soon to UK and Germany) and possible to support the move, will offer a new appliance, the Echo Connect, for $34.99, which plugs into your phone line.
Echo Connect works as an intelligent speakerphone that lets you start landline calls simply using your voice and no dialling, including calling 911 handsfree. It will be arriving in Q4 2017.
Amazon also showed a new Alexa Gadgets API which should make for more interesting Alexa Skills. Part of the initiative is new Echo Buttons that will cost $20 for 2 (available later this year) and would act like game show buzzers for voice-based trivia games.
See it in action below in a video by Nicole Nguyen.
For more conventional entertainment, Amazon also announced a new Fire TV with 4K HDR support at 60 fps. The streaming stick can now be controlled using the Amazon Echo, and Amazon will be selling a $60 bundle with an Echo Dot and Fire TV stick and a $80 bundle with the Echo Dot and Fire TV.
The Fire TV with the conventional voice remote will sell for $70.
Amazon Fire TV now also supports Hulu, Playstation Vue, NBC, CBS, Showtime, CNBC, Bravo, Netflix, NBC, and Dish.
Amazon also introduced a new multi-step API which would let developers give a single command and cause a number of actions, such as saying “good morning” and having the lights go on and the window blind open, and set the kettle to boil, and “good night” and have the opposite happen.
Amazon has more than 5000 people working on the Echo series at the minute, which explains the torrid rate of development.
Amazon’s full range of products, including pre-order links, can be seen here.