The Amazon launched four completely new products to its smart-audio category: the high-end Echo Plus that doubles as a smarter home hub; the Echo Spot which is a smart alarm clock with a video screen; a couple of buttons accessories makes the Echo more of an entertainment device; and the Echo Connect - a $35 (around Rs. 2,300) speakerphone box that plugs into the traditional landline connection and it uses your home phone number.
Amazon also unveiled updates to the Echo, which was not upgradable since its 2014 launch, and minimise the size of the Fire TV so that it's no longer its own set-top box. Though it still offers 4K streaming, it now can be plugs entirely into the back of a TV. BMW also announced it will put Alexa-friendly microphones and the voice assistant in select BMW and Mini models in 2018.
The complexity of configuring a smart home - downloading apps, figuring out which devices work with which services, even naming convention each individual bulb - has proven a major hurdle to smart appliance adoption even as companies aggressively pursue the space.
But Limp showed off how Alexa - using the $149 (roughly Rs. 9,800) Echo Plus - can now make smart home set-up as easy as, well, screwing in a light bulb. Shortly after twisting the bulb into the socket, the Echo Plus picked it up in a scan for smart devices in the room, named it and was able to control it within 15 seconds.
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