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Amazon introduces Echo, Echo Plus smart speakers and Echo Spot alarm clock

29 September 2017

Amazon has integrated a smart home hub into the new Echo Plus, which is created to simplify the connection to compatible smart home devices.

In addition to the aforementioned products, Amazon showed off the Echo Connect, which lets you make voice calls with your landline (including 911).

If you're shopping for your first Echo, the most appealing feature of the revamped model could be the price: Amazon is selling the new Echo for just $100, $80 less than the original.

Alexa, what's up with that strategy? Echo Plus: This one looks like the old Echo device, but is silver.

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Also unveiled was the $130 Echo Spot, which has a 2.5-inch display and looks similar to the Echo Dot and a $149 smart home hub, known as the Echo Plus. The new Echo runs for $99, or three for $250, undercutting other smart speakers such as the Apple HomePod ($349).

BMW Senior Vice President Digital Services and Business Models, Dieter May said: "By making this step and integrating Alexa into our models from 2018, BMW and MINI will form a more intrinsic part of our customers' digital lifestyles".

Amazon may find enough people that see value in enough different use cases for all of these different devices to succeed. The new announcements include the next gen Echo, Echo Spot, Echo Plus, Echo Connect and Echo Buttons. Amazon has essentially updated the original Echo from 2014.

Amazon has introduced five new products and brand Echo media player Fire TV. Packing in a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor together with a 2 GB RAM and 8 GB of storage, Amazon is also claiming the new Fire TV to be 40 percent more powerful compared to the Fire TV Stick.

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Deutsche Telekom launched a connected auto platform earlier this month, which allows a driver to access data about their journeys and route planning services. It's priced at US$69.99. With the Echo Plus, Amazon claims you won't need to tinker with any of your smart-bulb apps-all the setup is handled by the Echo, all by voice.

Echo Plus orders in advance begin September 27 and the device will be available October 31. The Echo Connect is coming to the United Kingdom early next year, as is the Echo Spot.

Amazon's new Fire TV streaming box features 4K ultra HD, high dynamic range (HDR), and Alexa voice remote. The Amazon Echo Buttons are the tiny Bluetooth-connected multicolored buttons for Amazon Echo and cost $20 for a set of two.

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Amazon introduces Echo, Echo Plus smart speakers and Echo Spot alarm clock