Enlarge /. One of the many devices presented today, the 4th generation Echo device, is a cloth-covered sphere with a halo at the base, in contrast to the squat plastic cylinders of earlier Echoes.
Today at Amazon's hardware launch, the company announced new Ring, Echo, Eero, and Fire devices. Amazon has also announced a new game service called Luna, which we'll cover in its own article.
Always ring home cam
Enlarge /. The Ring Always Home Camera is a tiny, self-docking drone that flies around your home.
The Ring Always Home Cam is the newest device in the Ring family, better known for doorbells with cameras. The Always Home Cam is a tiny, self-docking drone designed to fly around your home and stream videos to the cloud for review in smartphone apps. According to ring founder Jamie Siminoff, the Always Home Cam is designed to offer multiple interior views without the need for multiple indoor cameras and is an "obvious product that is very difficult to build".
The drone works completely autonomously, but the setup process includes mapping areas of the house where it is allowed to fly and which routes it is allowed to take. Once set up, the drone can be asked to fly directly, or it can fly alone to visit disturbances detected by ring alarm systems. The 1080p camera is blocked by the dock itself. So when the drone is not in flight it will not be streamed or recorded. Like most small drones, it incorporates automatic obstruction avoidance and uses propeller covers to protect both the blades themselves and any objects, people, or pets they might otherwise encounter.
Thwarting a break-in via a pseudo-funk bass line … aw yeah.
The Ring Always Home Cam is expected to cost $ 250 and ship in 2021.
Wi-Fi 6 Eero, Eero Pro
Enlarge /. These are Eero 6 routers and Eero 6 extenders. The Eero 6 Pro router has a lower profile and wider base.
The Wi-Fi 6 Eero systems, which we discovered FCC certifications for earlier this month, were officially announced today. The new kits can be pre-ordered today. Shipping is expected to start in early November.
The three models that are released are Eero 6 routers, Eero Pro 6 routers, and Eero 6 extenders. The Eero Pro 6 is a tri-band device (a 2.4 GHz radio with two 5 GHz radios). Both non-Pro devices are dual-band devices. All three SKUs have integrated ZigBee functionality for home automation.
Both router models have two gigabit ports and a USB-C power port. The extender only has the USB-C power connector and does not offer any cable connections. The Eero 6 router can be pre-ordered individually for $ 130 or with an Eero 6 extender as a kit for $ 200. The Eero 6 Pro router is available for pre-order for $ 230. It took a little longer, but we also found options to pre-order a three-piece Eero 6 kit for $ 280 or a solo Eero 6 extender for $ 90.
We are disappointed with Amazon's decision to use separate device designs for "routers" and "extenders" again – and with the obvious step backwards of making the basic kit more of a two-part than a three-part set. Wiring devices such as game consoles or PCs directly to a satellite node is a great asset to the quality and reliability of the entire Wi-Fi network. We really liked the company's earlier decision to use Ethernet jacks on all products. We also think that the vast majority of homes are better served with three than two pieces.
New generation of echoes
One of the many devices presented today, the 4th generation Echo device, is a cloth-covered sphere with a halo at the base, in contrast to the squat plastic cylinders of earlier Echoes.
This variant of the 4th generation Echo Dot has a built-in clock.
Echo Dot 4th-Gen is also available in kid-friendly designs like this panda.
The Echo Show 10 is practically the perfect 10-inch tablet for viewing the Mona Lisa – as her eyes will really follow you around the room.
The Echo range from Amazon was updated today, switching from the earlier, prosaic "squat plastic cylinder" designs to more posh, cloth-covered spheres. The fourth-generation, full-size Echo costs $ 100 and will be available in Charcoal, Glacier White, or Twilight Blue on October 22nd. Amazon tells us we need to expect better sound than previous generations, with a 3 "woofer and two tweeters that deliver" crisp highs, dynamic mids and deep lows that automatically adapt to any room ".
The Echo Dot is also getting a fourth generation makeover that features the new spherical design in a smaller size and in several variants. The base model with the same option for charcoal, glacier white, or Twilight Blue is $ 50, half the cost of its bigger siblings. There are also upscale versions of the Dot for $ 60, including versions with an integrated clock (only in Glacier White or Twilight Blue) and two Kids Edition Dots – a panda and a tiger.
The Kids & # 39; Edition Dots also offer a year of FreeTime Unlimited – Amazon's curated subscription service for child-oriented content – and a two-year “worry-free” replacement guarantee, as offered by Kids & # 39; is offered. Edition Fire Tablets.
Finally, there is the Echo Show 10 – a 10-inch tablet that is mounted on a motorized gimbal frame and automatically aligns itself with recognized human bodies. The AI detection "people" is on board rather than cloud-based and does not look for specific human faces – instead it searches space for human-shaped outlines.
We envision the $ 250 Echo Show as the perfect backdrop for a Mona Lisa print that really has eyes following you around the room, but Amazon mentions a more prosaic use for video conferencing. As useful as this feature is, we assume it will take some getting used to – and a new round of "Zoom Fail" videos in which conference attendees forget the camera is (still) on them. The Echo Show can be pre-ordered today, but there is no specific shipping date yet.
Fire TV sticks
Enlarge /. This year's Fire TV Stick has HDR support, Alexa Voice Remote that lets you control your TV yourself, and a faster processor – but no 4K video.
A new Fire TV Stick Lite is available for $ 30 and a Fire TV Stick without the Lite is available for $ 40. Both devices have Alexa Voice Remote functionality and 8 GB of memory with faster processors than previous models and offer a maximum resolution of 1080p. If you want full 4K video, you need the $ 50 Fire TV Stick 4K, which hasn't received any updates this year.
The difference between this year's Lite and Non-Lite Fire TV Sticks lies in Dolby Audio (Pass-Through HDMI only on the Lite, Full Atmos on the Non-Lite) and the remote control – Alexa Voice Remote only controls the Stick yourself on the Lite, but it can control the entire TV on the non-Lite.
Although both the new Fire TV Stick and Stick Lite are only 1080p, both devices support high-dynamic range (HDR) video, which is more common on 4K devices and displays and offers higher contrast and color gamut than none – HDR videos.