With AI becoming the buzzword of 2023, Amazon is finally bringing generative AI capabilities to Amazon Alexa. The announcement was made at its Devices and Services event yesterday, where the Seattle-based tech giant revealed plans to introduce a new generative AI model to its Echo smart home device lineup. Later, Amazon also announced a new generation of Echo devices that understand conversational phrases and react using artificial intelligence.
The range includes the new Echo Show 8, Echo Hub and Echo Frames – all designed with artificial intelligence in mind.
“These new Echo devices give customers more ways to experience the world’s best personal AI — and the growing creative AI capabilities coming soon to Alexa — at home and on the go,” said Daniel Rausch, VP, Alexa and Fire TV.
New Echo Lineup features and prices
Amazon announces that the new Echo Show 8 model will allow Alexa to handle common smart home requests locally, resulting in 40% faster tasks such as turning on a smart light, switch or plug. In addition, it is equipped with a centralized 13-megapixel camera for improved video calls, and it has improved sound quality thanks to a new process pipe that reduces ambient background noise.
The Echo Show 8 is available in two colors, Glacier White and Charcoal, for $149.99 and will start shipping on October 25th.
Amazon also introduced the Echo Hub, described as its first smart home control panel designed to simplify the process of connecting and managing smart devices. It is priced at $179.99 and is expected to be released later this year.
The new Echo Frames start at $269.99 and offer hands-free connectivity to Alexa with seven frame styles to choose from.
Better Alexa support
Amazon’s new generative AI-powered Alexa can adjust its tone and reactions to convey human-like emotions like excitement, affirmation, and more. Amazon also claims to understand subtle nuances such as a person’s natural pauses and hesitations for a more natural conversational style.