- Amazon is rumored to be working on new gadgets such as a higher-quality Echo, a home robot, and Alexa-enabled earbuds among other products.
- Such gadgets could give Amazon’s popular Alexa assistant a stronger presence both inside and outside the home.
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When it comes to gadgets, Amazon is best known for its line of Echo smart speakers, Kindle e-readers, and Fire TVs and tablets. But based on reports, it sounds like the online retail giant has a lot more in its pipeline.
Amazon is reportedly planning to bring its popular Alexa assistant to a slew of new gadgets including home robots and earbuds. Such a move would give Amazon a way to expand its voice-enabled helper beyond the home, a market in which the company’s Echo devices have already maintained a steady lead over rivals like Google.
Here’s a look at the gadgets Amazon is said to be working on.
A new Amazon Echo
The report doesn’t say much about the new Echo, other than that it’s shaped like a cylinder just like the company’s current speaker and that it’s wider than the version Amazon sells today. That extra space is being used to fit additional components in the device, the report says.
A home robot that can respond to voice commands
- Alexander Koerner/Getty Images
Amazon has already established a strong presence in the home through the Echo, and now it’s hoping to take that a step further with a domestic robot, as Bloomberg also reported.
The company is developing a household robot that has wheels for roaming about the home and navigates using computer vision, according to the report. Like the Echo, users would be able to interact with it using voice commands. The device is being called “Vesta” internally, and the company is said to have ramped up work on the project in recent months.
If Amazon does move forward with its “Vesta” bot, it’s unclear when it will launch. The company planned to announced the robot this year, according to Bloomberg, but it’s not ready for mass production just yet.
A high-fidelity music streaming service
- Business Insider
Amazon is reportedly working on a high-definition music service that would offer a better bit rate than CD quality, according to Music Business Worldwide. It’s expected to launch before the end of 2019 and could cost $15 per month, the report said citing music industry sources.
That timing suggests there’s a chance Amazon could debut the high-fidelity music service alongside the new Echo it’s rumored to launch. If Amazon does launch a high-fidelity music streaming service at that price point, it would be cheaper than Tidal, which charges $20 per month for that sound quality.
Wireless earbuds with Alexa built-in
- Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
Amazon could launch its own alternative to AirPods soon enough.
The company will reportedly release voice-activated earbuds powered by its popular Alexa virtual assistant as early as the second half of 2019, according to Bloomberg. In addition to using your voice to ask questions or summon the weather, you’ll be able to execute certain tasks through gestures, says the report. Such actions reportedly include tapping to switch between music tracks or end phone calls. Like AirPods, they are also expected to come in a case that serves as a charger.
A wearable device that can detect your emotions
Wireless earbuds aren’t the only wearable devices Amazon is said to be working on. The company is reportedly developing a wrist-worn gadget that could recognize human emotions, according to Bloomberg.
The voice-activated device has been described as a health and wellness gadget, and it can discern a user’s emotional state by the sound of his or her voice, the report says. The product has been codenamed Dylan, and it’s unclear how far along it is. It would work in conjunction with a smartphone app.
The news regarding the product’s development comes as rival Apple have been pushing more deeply into health. If Amazon does launch a wrist-worn health device, it would represent yet another area in which Amazon competes with the iPhone maker, along with voice-enabled assistants and music streaming.