What’s New in Next-Gen Amazon Echo and Echo Plus

Prayank

Amazon has introduced the new-gen Alexa-powered Echo and Echo Plus devices which will retail at a price of $99.99 and $149.99, respectively.

echo2

Echo also added a new member to the Echo family — Echo Spot, which is a combination of the small Echo Dot and visual Echo Show.

The new Echo and Echo Plus will retail at $99.99 and 149.99, respectively.

“Three years ago we introduced the first Echo, powered by Alexa, with a goal to fundamentally simplify and improve the way customers interact with their homes,” said Tom Taylor, Senior Vice President, Amazon Alexa.

You can pre-order the Amazon Echo here and Echo Plus here. Both the devices will start shipping on October 31, 2017.

“Today, Alexa can make calls, play music in every room, turn on your lights, and even order you a pizza. But it’s still day one, and today we’re making Echo and Alexa even better.”

What’s New on the Echo and Echo Plus?

Amazon Echo

The new Echo comes in a smaller, sleeker design and new colors and finishes (wood, cloth) to choose from at $99.99.

The device also features new speaker architecture which is equipped with a dedicated tweeter, a 2.5-inch down-firing woofer, and Dolby processing for better audio delivery.

Amazon Echo Plus

The Echo Plus, which supports smart home devices, now sets up sync with compatible devices from ZigBee, Philips Hue, GE, Kwikset, and more, as soon as you say ‘Alexa, discover my devices’.

The Echo Plus also features enhanced  360-degree omni-directional audio, with Dolby processing for a more crisp sound.

Inter-connectivity among Echo devices with smart home groups has also been enhanced, helping Alexa pinpoint commands based on the location of the user. Per se, if you’re in the bedroom, you just need to say ‘Alexa, turn on the lights’ instead of ‘Alexa, turn on the bedroom lamp’.

“The all-new Echo and Echo Plus deliver better sound, all new far-field technology, and new features we think customers will love,” said Taylor.

Improved Alexa

Alexa can now be taught a routine for commands and actions in your home. Per se, if you wish to have the light off in your hall at 10 pm every night, you just need to programme Alexa to do that every day or whichever days you want.

The far-field tech used by Amazon Echo and Echo Plus to detect words has been enhanced with better wake word processing, improved beamforming technology, and enhanced noise cancellation, enabling your Echo to detect words from across the room even in a noisy environment.

Users will now also be able to make free outbound calls to phone numbers within USA, Canada, and Mexico.

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Prayank

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Prayank

Bike enthusiast, traveller, ManUtd follower, army brat, word-smith; Delhi University, Asian College of Journalism, Cardiff University alumnus; a journalist breathing tech these days.