Amazon Announces New Alexa Devices and Services

Posted on September 28, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Amazon, Smart Home with 5 Comments

At its annual devices event today, Amazon unleashed a new generation of Alexa-powered hardware and services.

Here are some of the key announcements.

Amazon Smart Thermostat. This affordable Alexa-powered smart thermostat was codesigned by Resideo, the maker of Honeywell Home thermostats, and it will work with most 24-volt HVAC systems. It does not include a built-in microphone or speaker, but it works with a compatible Alexa-enabled device. The Amazon Smart Thermostat will cost just $59.99 and utility-provider rebates could lower the cost to just $10 or even free.

Echo Show 15. This new smart display offers a large 15.6-inch display and is powered by a second-generation Amazon AZ2 Neural Edge processor. It can be used in portrait or landscape modes, can be wall-mounted or used on a stand, and offers a new Visual ID feature that identifies people in the room and customizes the display to their needs. It’s extensible with widgets and can act as a TV in the kitchen with support for multiple services, including SlingTV coming soon. It will cost $249.99 and be available later this year.

Amazon Kids+ improvements. Amazon Kids+ is getting new content providers, including Do, Re & Mi; a new Super Spy Ryan mobile game, ARPO Robot Babysitter, and LEGO Monkie Kid. And Blippiis coming exclusively to Amazon Kids+ with Blippi’s Treehouse, a new series for kids.

Hey, Disney. In perhaps the most impressive announcement, Disney used Alexa’s custom assistant capabilities to build its own digital assistant, which can be used alongside Alexa on Amazon’s devices and, soon, at Disney’s theme park-based hotels. Among other things, it will let you interact with characters from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and more.

Amazon Glow. This intriguing dedicated video call device is aimed at kids, so that they can communicate with their parents, grandparents, and other family members when they’re not physically together. It offers an 8-inch display and a 19-inch touch-compatible projection area for interacting with remote users in a virtual space with object scanning and interactive activity capabilities. And it’s obviously designed with privacy and protection controls in place.

Halo hardware and services. Amazon is building out its display-less Halo Band and $3.99/month Halo service with a new Halo View fitness wearable that offers an AMOLED display, 7 days of battery life, waterproofing, and customizable bands for just $79.99 (which includes one year of the Halo service for free). It also announced two new services, both of which are free with a Halo membership: Halo Fitness, which offers workouts and classes, and Halo Nutrition, for personalized eating tools, meal planners, and the like.

Ring Always Home Cam availability. Last year, Amazon announced the Always Home Cam, a sort of personal security drone for the home. Now, it’s generally available for $249.99.

Ring Alarm Pro. This includes a Ring Alarm base station with an Eero Wi-Fi 6 router built-in. Ring Alarm Pro has alarm and motion detectors, reliable Wi-Fi, and professional monitoring and online threat protection. It costs $249.99.

Ring Jobsite Security. This new security product is aimed at construction companies and contractors that need to protect job sites with no security. It features a Ring Alarm Pro, a Ring Protect Plan for cellular connectivity, and a wireless camera, and costs $399.99 at HomeDepot.com.’

Ring Virtual Security Guard. This new subscription service lets customers choose a professional security company to visually monitor their Ring cameras. It’s launching with Rapid Response at $99 per month, but more partners will be available over time.

New Blink hardware. A new version of the Blink Video Doorbell ($49.99) can be used wired or wired-free and it features long-lasting battery life, HD video, night vision, motion detection, two-way audio, and Alexa alerts. The Blink Floodlight Cam ($139.99) is a battery-powered smart LED floodlight that works with the Blink Outdoor Camera. And the new Blink Solar Panel Mount ($129.99) provides power wirelessly from the sun.

Astro. Yep, Amazon announced a home robot. It looks like a tablet mounted on two Segway wheels, uses Alexa integration, and has a periscope camera for looking around your house to make sure everything is OK. It can also be combined with Ring Protect Pro to proactively patrol your home, investigate activities, and send you notifications when it detects something unusual. Astro will cost $999.99.

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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Amazon Announces New Alexa Devices and Services”

  1. daveevad

    "Hey Astro".

    "Res Relroy".

    "Snitches get stiches"

    "Ruh Roh"!

  2. bluvg

    But Rosey was the robot, Astro was real. I guess Tralfaz would have been copyright infringement.

  3. rm

    Just make sure Astro knows where the stairs are . . .

  4. panjjj

    Strange not to have seen an echo soundbar that would have easily configured with their newly announced omni TV's. While you can pair some echo studios they are not shaped to fit easily with a TV nor do they have e-arc capability. Oh well.

  5. MarkPow

    Presumably Astro will take delivery of your parcel when you're not in...

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