8 new Alexa devices planned including a microwave, report says

Isaac Cain
September 18, 2018

CNBC doesn't say which gadgets will have their own built-in Alexa voice assistant and which ones will merely be controlled by Alexa, but both types are apparently in the works. Alexa and the Google Assistant now power hardware in different product categories such as smart displays.

Some of the devices will simply be able to connect to Alexa; others will have the digital assistant built in.

The Seattle-based tech giant plans to release at least eight new voice-controlled devices this year, according to CNBC, including a number of home gadgets.

Some of them will be revealed at an event later this month, CNBC reported.

These products mark Amazon's first move into the home appliances space, putting it in direct competition with companies like Sonos SONO and GE GE. Garmin also has an Alexa-compatible dash cam that can be used in the vehicle. By partnering with smart home installation companies, Amazon can make its Alexa-powered devices more readily available in new homes.

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Amazon didn't immediately reply to a request for comment.

There's also a possible secret Amazon home robot to consider. The report notes that the upcoming amplifier can be used as the central audio panel to control multiple speakers set up across a users' home, while the upcoming microwave can bring Alexa in the home's kitchen.

The new lineup will also pit Amazon against other companies that make Alexa-powered devices. One ongoing criticism of Amazon's Echo, Dot and related smart speakers is that their sound quality isn't great, whereas smart speakers by Sonos Inc., Google LLC's Home Max and even Apple Inc.'s HomePod offer high-fidelity sound, though with a price to match. Earlier this year, it partnered with home builder Lennar to include two Echo speakers in certain new homes and provide visits by Amazon technicians.

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

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