Amazon adds Echo devices for home and car in bid to dominate voice gadgets
The flurry of new products shows how the world`s largest 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
Amazon, at an event in Seattle, announced updated versions of its Echo Show, Echo Dot and Echo Plus, as well as new devices such as a voice-controlled microwave and wall clock. The new Echo Auto is designed to sit on a car`s dashboard and give directions or play music, while plugged into a car`s power outlet.
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The new products underscore a strategic difference from Google and Apple, which so far have released fewer devices while Amazon has released many different gadgets for different purposes.
"One or more of these products is likely to resonate, but (it`s) impossible to speculate today," Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said.
Research firm eMarketer has estimated that 40.7 million people in the United States will use Echo devices this year, up more than 31 percent from 2017. Some two-thirds of U.S. smart speaker users will have an Echo this year, versus 30 percent who will have the rival Google Home, which includes some overlapping customers.
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.
Amazon.com shares closed up 0.9 percent at $1,943.99.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)