With AI emerging as the buzzword of 2023, Amazon is finally introducing generative AI capabilities to Amazon Alexa. This announcement was made at its Devices and Services event yesterday, where the Seattle-based tech giant revealed its plans to introduce a new generative AI model to its Echo lineup of smart home devices. Subsequently, Amazon also unveiled a new generation of Echo devices that can understand conversational phrases and respond using AI.
The lineup includes the new Echo Show 8, Echo Hub, and Echo Frames devices—all designed with an AI-first approach.
“These new Echo devices give customers more ways to experience the world’s best personal AI—and the growing generative AI capabilities that will be coming to Alexa soon—at home and on the go,” said Daniel Rausch, VP, Alexa and Fire TV.
New Echo Lineup Features and Pricing
Amazon states that the new Echo Show 8 model enables Alexa to process common smart home requests locally, resulting in responses that are 40% faster for tasks like turning on a smart light, switch, or plug. Additionally, it is equipped with a centered 13-megapixel camera for improved video calls and features enhanced audio quality, thanks to a new process pipeline that reduces background noise from the surrounding environment.
The Echo Show 8 will be available in two colorways, Glacier White and Charcoal, priced at $149.99, and it will begin shipping on October 25.
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 launch later this year.
The new Echo Frames start at $269.99 and offer hands-free access to Alexa, with seven frame styles to choose from.
Better Alexa Support
As reported by Tech Crunch, Amazon’s new generative AI-powered Alexa has the ability to adjust its tone and responses to convey emotions such as affirmation, excitement, laughter, and surprise. Amazon also claims that it can adapt to a person’s natural pauses and hesitations, delivering a more natural conversation experience.