Published: Sat, July 13, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Amazon reportedly working on high-end Echo smart speaker, Alexa-powered home robot

Amazon reportedly working on high-end Echo smart speaker, Alexa-powered home robot

Inc.is building up a higher quality adaptation of the Echo speaker and speeding up work on its home robot "Vesta".

The robot was first reported by Bloomberg a year ago and was met with denial by an Amazon spokesperson who told the outlet that the company doesn't comment on 'rumors and speculation'.

Sources familiar with the product tell Bloomberg's Mark Gurman that Amazon is planning to launch its high-end Echo by 2020.

We're all getting used to smart speakers in the home, but would you be as accepting of a smart robot? It does raise some questions, however.

In addition, the report incorporates new insights regarding the particulars of the robot, including that it will without a doubt support Alexa and have wheels to enable it to move around.

Amazon's next Alexa-equipped gadget might be a personal robot that follows you around. It seems the vision for Vesta is one of a mobile Alexa machine that can follow users into places where they don't have Echo speakers set up. Not saying that'd be dumb - but it's also sort of pointless to shell out hundreds of dollars if what you're getting is basically the equivalent of sticking an Echo speaker on a Roomba.

Amazon declined to comment when reached by Business Insider.

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Still, if the Vesta does go to market, it would have one advantage.

The Echo, which went on sale in 2015, will get 63% of the USA market this year, as per EMarketer.

It's unclear what tasks the Amazon robot might perform. And if Amazon can figure out how to bring the price down, then it might be onto something. According to a Bloomberg report, Amazon plans to release its highest-quality speaker yet by the end of next year.

The new device is being built by Amazon's research and development arm Lab126, and it apparently features at least four tweeters.

Releasing a new version of the Echo that is created to take advantage of the better audio could help the company do just that, and Amazon could possibly make the service a part of its Prime subscription, which means people wouldn't have to actually spend any extra money on using it, they would simply need a speaker that was capable of meeting the hardware requirements to output the higher quality sound.

In any case, both rumours point to Amazon cooking up new ways to invade your home - and stay there.

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