Yesterday, Amazon announced a slew of new smart products and accessories – everything from Alexa-equipped rings and eyeglasses to a smart oven that ships with an Echo Dot. Many of these products will make fun gifts for anyone who enjoys an Alexa-powered life. And if you’re among the crowd that’s eyeing Amazon’s privacy practices or its home security products, there’s a few items for you, too.
New Ring Cameras & Retrofit Alarm Kit
Amazon owns Ring, the company that helped put video doorbells on the map. Ring also makes some of the most popular wireless security cameras, and they just updated one of our favorites.
The latest Ring Stick-Up Cam preserves the best features of the older version: 1080p HD video, two-way talk, night vision, three different power options (solar, plug-in or battery), Alexa support and motion activated-recording, to name a few. It also introduces the ability to set “Privacy Zones” to prevent the device from recording specific areas, and custom home, disarmed and away software modes so the camera only records when and how you want it to. Best of all, it’s cheaper than the old version, retailing at $99.99 for the plug-in or battery-powered versions and $148.99 for solar-powered. The new Ring Stick-Up Cam is suitable for indoor or outdoor use and it starts shipping October 23.
Ring also launched an all-new Indoor Cam. It has similar resolution, specs and features as the popular Stick-Up Cam, only it’s not weather resistant and there are no battery or solar options. It’s also quite small, standing less than three inches tall, with a small price tag to match. The Ring Indoor Cam is available now on Amazon for $59.99.
Amazon announced another new development in self-monitored security: the Ring Retrofit Alarm Kit, which is scheduled for release in November. This do-it-yourself kit turns an old, wired alarm system into a wireless one that you can monitor yourself through mobile notifications. It starts at $199 for the kit only, or $375 if you include a Ring Alarm Hub. We’ll have to wait for more details to confirm its exact capabilities and compatibilities. Right now, the only comparable product we know of is the Konnected Alarm Panel Conversion Kit.
One last thing we can expect to see on the home security front early next year: The Ring Doorbell Elite, which will have Alexa-powered conversation with visitors. When you’re not home, Alexa will be able to ask visitors questions like “Is this a delivery?” and “How can I help you?”. We’ll update with more details when they become available.
Alexa Privacy Updates & New Capabilities
Apart from a big batch of Alexa-equipped devices, they also made improvements to Alexa itself. Here’s a few ways the tech giant hopes to serve family privacy and security concerns:
- Auto deletion options for voice recordings – Under Alexa Privacy Settings, users will have the ability to autodelete recordings on a rolling basis.
- Kid-to-kid communication – Alexa is popular with kids, and Amazon is adding the ability to send calls and messages between Alexa users. Parents must invite/accept connections before their child can send or receive messages.
- New Alexa Guard features – Alexa Guard can already send you mobile alerts about any alarms or glass breaks detected when you’re gone. Soon, it will also be able to alert you about other noises, such as footsteps or doors closing. Alexa Guard users will also get more advanced routines to automate compatible home security systems and schedule Home and Away modes.
- “Alexa, tell me what you heard” and “Alexa, why did you do that?” – Amazon is adding the ability for users to question Alexa when she does something unexpected.
Everything Else That Amazon Announced
Here are the highlights from the slew of new Alexa-equipped devices that Amazon bombarded us with:
- Echo Dot with Clock – The first thing that Amazon announced at its big press event was … a clock radio? Yes, but with Alexa. This device has the same features as the current Echo Dot but also displays the time or temperature. It releases October 16 for $59.99.
- All-New Echo (3rd. Generation) – The newest version of Amazon’s flagship smart speaker has improved audio and a new blue color option. It releases October 16 for $99.99.
- Echo Studio is another smart speaker with even better sound, specifically, 3D audio technology from Dolby Atmos. It’s already getting rave reviews from audiophiles and we look forward to trying it ourselves. Releases on November 7 and retails for $199.99.
- Echo Show 8, an 8-inch smart display with HD resolution and a built-in camera ideal for video chatting. The camera lens has a physical shutter to protect against voyeuristic hackers. Starts shipping on November 21 and retails for $129.99.
- Echo Glow, a multicolor smart lamp for kids that pairs with any Alexa device. Use it to create lighting cues and timers or just add color to the room. Releases on November 20 and retails for $29.99.
- Echo Buds, a competitor for Apple’s AirPods, with Alexa support and Bose Active Noise Reduction technology. Releases on October 30 and retails for $129.99.
- Echo Frames, a pair of eyeglasses that let you speak to Alexa. When she responds, only you can hear. Available by invitation only for $179.99.
- Amazon Smart Oven, which lets you cook with Alexa commands and ships with an Echo Dot. Releases on November 14 and retails for $249.99.
If you’re not an early adopter yourself, one of these new releases will surely make a great holiday gift. Heads up: If Amazon follows a similar calendar as they have in previous years, you can expect to see price drops on these items around the holiday shopping season.