Amazon working on several new Echo devices, wearables, custom chipsets1
Echo for Walls and Home Robot are in development
Before delving into the details, it’s worth noting that Amazon has an announcement even scheduled for Tuesday, September 28. Some of the devices listed below could make an appearance, but others might not hit shelves until next year or even later.
Of course, other ideas could be scrapped entirely depending on how development goes and how the market evolves. Only time will tell what path Amazon chooses to take with Echo.
One of the most noteworthy products under development is a larger Echo for Walls with a 15-inch screen. It’s codenamed Hoya and can be mounted on a wall or placed on a surface with a stand.
Amazon wants the device to be a smart-home control center that’s used in the kitchen to active other smart products and view recipes. It’ll double as an info hub, displaying timers and appointments, and a media player with Netflix support.
Also in the pipeline is a home robot codenamed Vesta that follows users around. It doesn’t have arms and can’t handle stairs. One version tested earlier this year had a 7-inch display, while another featured a larger 10-inch panel.
If released, the product could be priced at around $1,000. However, inside Amazon there seems to be some uncertainty as to whether it’d be useful, meaning a release is far from guaranteed.
Amazon’s working on new speakers and wearables
Echo speakers dominate the smart speaker market, so it’s no surprise to hear that Amazon is now working on expanding its product lineup with an Alexa-backed soundbar.
Amazon’s Echo Sound Bar would also let users have video calls through their TV by integrating a camera. If announced next week, this product is unlikely to hit shelves until next year. There are no immediate plans to refresh the traditional Echo speakers, with Amazon instead pushing those changes to 2022.
Of course, Amazon’s hardware lineup wouldn’t be complete without some wearables. The company has discussed a new wearable geared toward kids and another one designed for senior citizens.
Upcoming Alexa-powered devices could integrate health sensors too, including ones designed to track temperature, breathing, and sleep and snoring. Baby-monitoring features have been researched too.
Future Alexa-powered devices may use custom Amazon chips
Apple and Google are using custom chipsets in more devices each year and it looks like Amazon is the next company to do so. It has a team working on custom chipsets for future versions of Echo devices.
Amazon’s software goals are a big part of this push. The company wants to make its software work more seamlessly and it wants Amazon devices to work together with more ease, essentially creating a better-connected ecosystem of products.