Anyone working from home should read about these products and features announced during Amazon’s September 2020 hardware event.
Amazon introduced at its Sept. 24 event a number of new products and features that business pros might use in their home office; improvements and privacy upgrades to Amazon Alexa, Eero mesh routers, newly designed Amazon Echo smart speakers, and the Echo Show 10 are some of the highlights. Here’s an overview of each of these products.
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Eero 6 mesh routers
Notable features of the Eero 6 mesh router include:
It extends Wi-Fi 6 coverage up to 1,500 square feet;
it’s easy to set up through the Eero app;
It’s backward compatibility with previous Wi-Fi generations;
TrueMesh technology reduces drop-offs, which allows better streaming for 4K video, gaming, and video conferencing; and
automatic updates to bring the newest Wi-Fi features and keep your network safe.
The Eero 6 mesh router system requires an existing Eero network, and you can add as many Eero 6 extenders as needed to maximize coverage throughout your home.
The Eero 6 is priced at $129 for a single router, while the more powerful Eero Pro 6 is $229 for a standalone router. Both Eero 6 routers are currently available for pre-order on Amazon and will be released on November 2.
Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa is getting a lot of upgrades and improvements. Alexa’s privacy settings are now more comprehensive–users can delete voice recordings immediately and delete all voice recordings with a single command.
Sister site CNET spoke with Daniel Rausch, Amazon’s vice president of smart home and Alexa mobile, who said Alexa is becoming more independent. According to Rausch, this will help create “the ambient home,” in which Alexa is “ready to respond [to voice commands], but is more predictive and proactive.”
Additional upgrades to the Amazon Alexa include:
Expansion of Alexa Hunches – A feature in which Alexa makes suggestions based on your actions. For example, Alexa might suggest locking the front door when you turn of your lights before going to bed.
Alexa Guard Plus – A subscription service ($4.99/month) that expands on Alexa Guard–Alexa’s security system features. With Guard Plus, Alexa will listen for signs of a break in, use deterrence features, and includes a hands-free emergency help line to connect users to emergency services.
Alexa Care Hub – A feature that links two Alexa accounts, giving one account access to activity on the other. This feature is ideal for those who are caring for an elderly relative and need to monitor their status throughout the day.
Sound detector routines
Natural turn-taking conversation
Amazon Echo smart speaker
Amazon’s line of Echo smart speakers are getting upgraded as well. The redesigned 4th generation smart speakers will have a more spherical shape, features found formerly in the Echo Plus, and neural network technology to help accelerate Alexa. The Echo can also be transformed into a security device with Alexa Guard Plus and is priced at $99. It is currently available for pre-order on Amazon and will be released on October 22.
Amazon Echo Show 10
The new Echo Show 10 was also announced. It has a motorized swiveling screen/camera so can move around the room with you during chats, as well as pan and zoom. This smart display has ZigBee and Sidewalk hubs and a camera shutter for added privacy; also, it will support Hulu, Netflix, and Prime Video. The Echo Show 10 will be “available soon,” and it’s priced at $249.99.