SEATTLE — Alexa has already made herself at dwelling in kitchens and dwelling rooms. Now Amazon is attempting to get her in your ears. And in your face. And in your lavatory.
And perhaps — sometime — in your canine.
In a flurry of bulletins on Wednesday, Amazon unveiled the newest additions to the rising record of merchandise tied to the firm’s Alexa voice assistant. The gadgets broaden the choices for locations in the dwelling the place Amazon has already discovered success, whereas advancing the firm’s hopes of getting Alexa to stick with customers all day, in all places they go.
The new merchandise with Alexa in-built embody earbuds, glasses, a hoop, and a tiny system for areas like loos and garages. A brand new canine collar tracks a pet so an proprietor can discover its location with a smartphone.
To assist maintain gadgets linked to the web, Amazon additionally unveiled Amazon Sidewalk, a low-bandwidth community that would join sensible gadgets throughout a metropolis by piggybacking off neighbors’ gadgets.
Dave Limp, who runs Amazon’s gadgets enterprise, stated the devices put Alexa beside customers “throughout the day.”
The on-the-go nature of Amazon’s imaginative and prescient for Alexa highlights the limits of the firm’s attain with the know-how. While Amazon is the main vendor of sensible audio system like the Echo, its prime rivals for voice assistants, Apple and Google, have lengthy had their assistants built-in into their smartphones.
But the gadgets additionally confirmed certainly one of Amazon’s benefits. Alexa is only one of many companies the place Amazon has huge ambitions, together with e-commerce and cloud computing, giving the firm numerous room for experiments and failures.
“They are on a track to continue to penetrate the home, and then take it out of the home,” stated Carolina Milanesi, an analyst with the market analysis agency Creative Strategies.
The new $130 Echo Buds are Amazon’s reply to Apple’s AirPods, with noise-reduction properties and the skill to summon Alexa. Echo Frames, a $180 set of experimental prescription eyeglasses, and Echo Loop, a $130 sensible ring, have miniature microphones and audio system to talk.
Mr. Limp additionally revealed a sequence of refinements to the core Alexa assistant, akin to adapting her voice to higher match the info she conveys. Introducing pop songs, she could sound peppy; for a newscast, she may channel her internal NPR announcer. Mr. Limp additionally introduced the skill to have Alexa converse as if she have been the actor Samuel Jackson, for the price of 99 cents.
“We’ve put a lot of work into her voice,” Mr. Limp stated.
Many of the new bulletins for the kitchen and dwelling rooms combine screens with sensible audio system, an acknowledgment that voice alone shouldn’t be the most handy means to convey some info. Rattling off a full recipe for a cake will be unhelpful, for instance. A brand new partnership with the Food Network will present step-by-step recipe directions for on-demand and stay cooking lessons.
And though the audio high quality of the Echo, the sensible speaker that helped drive Alexa’s recognition, has improved in recent times, Mr. Limp unveiled the $200 Echo Studio, which creates the expertise of encompass sound.
“These build the sense of space around you,” Mr. Limp stated. That is a part of an effort to lure audiophiles with refined sounds and high-definition, remastered music.
But the most quirky and experimental efforts take a look at methods to broaden past these rooms. A $25 Echo Flex, a small field that plugs right into a wall outlet, is extra centered on being a primary level of entry speaking with Alexa, slightly than being entertaining.
“Here you really go to the core of what Alexa is,” Ms. Milanesi stated. They can be utilized to set alarms, get the information or join to sensible dwelling attachments akin to an evening mild.
Mr. Limp stated he had put in one in his lavatory.
“There is no reason not to put them everywhere in your house,” he stated.
AMAZON IS WORKING ON PRIVACY LEGISLATION. In an occasion with reporters on Wednesday, Amazon’s chief government, Jeff Bezos, stated the firm would help privateness laws, although he offered few particulars.
“Good regulations in this arena, I think, would be very welcome by all the players,” he stated.
He stated Amazon was working to draft privateness laws for facial recognition know-how specifically. Amazon has come below scrutiny for the instruments it sells to regulation enforcement, and due to uncertainty over what it does with the photographs from its Ring safety cameras, which have been included at the system showcase.
“It’s a perfect example of something that has really positive uses, so you don’t want to put the breaks on it,” Mr. Bezos stated. “At the same time, there is lots of potential for abuses with that kind of technology, so you want regulations.”
He stated he would welcome “good regulations” on the problem. “That kind of stability, I think, would be healthy for the whole industry,” he stated.
Mr. Bezos didn’t present particulars about what the firm’s proposed laws would entail.