Amazon.com on Wednesday will announce its new Alexa-driven devices, as the company is trying to embed its digital voice assistant more deeply in our lives.
Although not confirmed, the company could announce Alexa-powered earbuds, a new Echo smart speaker, a health tracker and a home robot.
Amazon's earbuds would probably compete with Apple AirPods and will include a case for carrying and re-charging. The earbuds will be cheaper than Apple’s $159 headphones, but they will not have cellular connectivitym, meaning that they'll require a smartphone to function.
An upgraded Echo speaker featuring high-end sound would better position Echo as a rival to Apple’s HomePod, the Google Home Max and the latest offerings from Sonos.
The health and wellness bracelet is designed to pair with a smartphone app. The device could even give Alexa the ability to recognize human emotions and offer wearers tips on how to interact more effectively with others.
An Amazon home robot could be a sort of mobile Alexa, accompanying customers in rooms where they don’t have Echo devices.
Amazon is also expected to roll out annual upgrades to its existing array of Echo speakers and television set-top boxes.
Voice-activated gadgets are increasingly popular, despite privacy concerns. The devices offer valuable information to their makers by analyzing the audio commands of consumers, in order to better identify their habits and also improve their capability to better understand the human language.
About 31% of U.S. households own a smart speaker, according to the Consumer Technology Association. With its aggressive pricing, Amazon held about a quarter of the 26.1 million smart speakers sold worldwide during the second quarter, according to the Canalys market researchers.