Published: Tue, September 18, 2018
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Amazon said to release eight new Alexa devices before year’s end

Amazon said to release eight new Alexa devices before year’s end

The news comes via CNBC, which reports that at least eight new Alexa-powered products are on the way which include a subwoofer, an amplifier and a receiver. Those potential devices include everything from a microwave oven to an in-car gadget to a subwoofer, and some will come with Amazon's voice assistant built-in. The microwave will put Amazon head-to-head with the General Electric Co., which already offers a smart microwave, itself Alexa-enabled. The devices are apparently coming before the end of 2018 with an announcement planned for later this month, according to internal documents.

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Google and Apple have so far dominated the smart auto stereo market, and although there are a number of Alexa-enabled smart vehicle stereos on the market, this is a missing link for Amazon in its the Alexa-everywhere strategy.

Voice assistants have slowly spread from smartphones and smart speakers, landing on computers, cars and much more.

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Smart speakers, smart displays and smart buttons - Amazon's ambitions for its Alexa voice assistant have been growing, but it's only built a few narrow categories of Alexa products itself.

Amazon Echo relies on Microsoft's Bing search engine and Wikipedia, while Google Home uses the company's own Google Search.

But the move signifies Amazon's heavy interest in the connected home. The company also partnered with Garmin recently to make the Garmin Speak Plus, a dash cam that connects to Alexa for in-car voice commands. These inclusions are the most likely, with Amazon looking to compete against Sonos' wireless speaker line-up (who already have a wireless amplifier for connecting wired speakers) and the Siri-enabled Apple HomePod. In July, CEO Jeff Bezos said, "We want customers to be able to use Alexa wherever they are".

Amazon is showing signs of accelerating partnerships with home builders. Amazon's former director of Alexa Smart Home, Charlie Kindel, meanwhile, joined smart home service provider Control 4 in August.

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