On Thursday, 20 September, Amazon held a launch event at it’s Seattle headquarters where it unveiled a range of new products.
Amazon introduced a dozen new Echo speakers and related gadgets in a bid to stay ahead of rivals Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) in the nascent category for voice-controlled devices.
The flurry of new products shows how the online retailer is working to make ubiquitous its voice-controlled assistant Alexa, which powers the Echo devices. It wants Alexa to be a dominant computing platform like Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O) Windows.
Some of the products were updates to existing Echo devices; others were brand new, like a new Echo Sub speaker, or a Fire TV device that acts as a DVR for local TV broadcasts. And, as rumored, there was a new home appliance in the mix too: An Amazon Basics microwave that works with Alexa and will sell for the low price of $60.
David Limp, Amazon’s senior vice president of devices and services, who introduced the new gadgets in Seattle, said the company has made setting up the gadgets easier and has improved Alexa’s understanding of context.
“They’re going to be a lot less transactional, and a lot more conversational,” he said.
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