Amazon unveils range of new Echo smart home devices

Amazon has unveiled a range of new Echo smart home devices and introduced a smart plug that enables users to control any power socket using their voice.

The tech firm is to introduce redesigned versions of its Echo Dot, Echo Plus and Echo Show smart home speakers – all of which are powered by voice-activated, artificially intelligent assistant, Alexa.

A connected microwave and wall clock, which can also be controlled using Alexa, were also announced.

As part of the firm’s plans to extend voice control to a wider number of appliances around the home, Amazon also unveiled its £25 Smart Plug, which once in place will allow users to control the socket using Alexa voice commands via an Echo smart speaker.

Amazon’s senior vice president of devices and services Dave Limp said the momentum around the smart home had been “incredible”, with more than 20,000 devices now available in the category.

The new Echo Dot will cost £49.99 and has been given an improved speaker, resulting in audio playing up to 70% louder, Amazon said.

The firm’s smart home hub Echo Plus includes a built-in system to automatically find and connect with other smart home devices it detects nearby.

Echo Show, the video-screen carrying version of the smart speaker, has been given a revamp too, featuring an improved speaker system alongside its 10-inch HD screen, which can be used to stream videos and make video calls.

It will cost £219.99.

A range of companion devices were also unveiled, including the Echo Sub subwoofer, which helps boost the sound produced by connected Echo smart speakers.

While the Echo Input allows users to make their existing speakers smart, by allowing them to be controlled by Alexa voice commands once connected.

Jorrit Van der Meulen, vice president of Amazon devices international, said: “We want you to have access to Alexa everywhere – in your kitchen, in your living room, in your office, and more.

“Today, we’re excited to expand the number of ways that customers can add Alexa to their homes, so they can use Alexa to make their lives more convenient and easy.”

Among the surprise companion devices announced was the Amazon Basics Microwave, which can be connected to an Echo and turned on using voice commands – with users able to specify a cooking time.

While the Echo Wall Clock can use its clock face to display any timers a user currently has running.

- Press Association

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