Big Tech is rarely content with simple announcements when it comes to unveiling new hardware. It has to be an event, and this continues even as audiences can only attend virtually.
Apple recently unveiled its flagship product, the iPhone 13, which comes in four flavors. Along with this came details on the new Apple Watch as well as some new entries in the iPad family. Tap or click here for our Apple rundown.
Hot on the heels of Apple’s event is Amazon, with news of a robot and some new gadgets. There are also new ways to communicate and play and updates to existing devices. We gathered the highlights together below.
Check out this cool household robot
Astro is a household robot on wheels that incorporates Alexa and more artificial intelligence to go beyond a simple smart speaker.
Astro wanders your home and adapts to changing environments. The robot performs many functions that a smart speaker can, such as playing music, using Alexa guard for security and making calls, but the locomotion adds some flavor.
- Astro patrols your home and show you live views of each room and any action it finds.
- Keep the robot away from areas you designate as off-limits.
- Flip the microphones/cameras button to off and the robot can’t move or capture video or audio.
- Astro will initially be available by invite only for $999.99 as part of Amazon’s Day 1 program and ships November 4. Tap or click here to request an invite. There are no guarantees. After the introductory period, the price goes up to $1,449.99.
Here’s a quick video of Astro in action:
Echo Show 15
The latest Echo Show has a 15.6-inch screen and can be mounted to a wall or rest on a flat surface.
- Control your smart home with the Echo Show 15. With a picture-in-picture mode, you can do two things at once like monitor your security camera while browsing the web.
- Echo Show 15 can double as a small television. Place one in your kitchen and stream Prime Video, Netflix or Hulu while you cook.
- Customizable Alexa widgets give you the most pertinent information in one gallery.
- Optional Visual ID lets the Show recognize you when you walk in front of it. The screen displays content for you, including reminders, calendar events, recently played music and more.
- Privacy features include microphone and camera controls, the ability to view and delete your voice recordings and and a camera cover.
- The Echo Show 15 is available later this year for $249.99. Tap or click here to stay updated on availability.
Amazon Smart Thermostat
Amazon partnered with Resideo, the makers of Honeywell Home thermostats, to develop the new Amazon smart thermostat.
- The new Amazon Smart Thermostat automatically adjusts based on your location and status: home, away, asleep.
- Let Alexa set the temperature or do it yourself from the app.
- Save on your energy bills.
- The Amazon Smart Thermostat goes for $59.99, but you can get it for less with utility rebates depending on where you live.
- Tap or click here to get yours now.
Amazon’s smart assistant is getting smarter. A household calendar lets you keep tabs on what your family is doing, and sticky notes allow you to keep everyone posted.
- Ultrasound motion detection sets off motion-based routines without the need for speech.
- Alexa Together is a subscription service that helps you help elderly family members with fall detection, emergency services, reminders and more. It costs $19.99 per month and has a 6-month free trial.
- Saying “Hey, Disney!” will let you interact with Disney characters at home and at Disney resorts. The feature will be available for purchase at the Alexa Skills Store beginning in 2022.
Ring Always Home Cam
This camera actually flies. It was announced last year and the invite list is coming soon.
- Ring Always Home Cam can patrol a room while you’re away or you can control it via the app.
- The camera activates when its sensors are triggered.
- Recording is blocked when the camera is docked.
- Tap or click here for updates. The Always Home Cam will retail for $249.99.
Amazon Glow is a video calling and interactive projection device for kids. It combines an 8-inch display with a 19-inch touch-sensitive projected space. Kids can interact with others via the digital display while playing games and learning on the projected one.
- Kids can move physical puzzle pieces while the remote person moves digital ones.
- Includes classic games like Chess, Checkers, Go Fish and more.
- Kids can read from the projected screen and engage with the story.
- Disable the camera and microphones with a built-in privacy shutter.
- Tap or click here to request an invite for early access.
Halo View is Amazon’s new fitness wearable. It offers access to activity, sleep scores, blood oxygen levels, live workout-tracking, text and move notifications.
- The AMOLED color screen has haptic feedback for easily finding what you need on the go.
- Halo Fitness is coming later this year with hundreds of workouts.
- Halo Nutrition will launch in 2022 with personalized recipes and meal plans.
- Halo View comes with a year Halo membership, which includes access to the Fitness and Nutrition programs.
- The Halo View is going for $79.99. Tap or click here to stay notified.
- Ring Alarm Pro security system comes with an Eero Wi-Fi 6 router built in. It also acts as a hub for smart home devices like locks, thermostats and smoke alarms.
- Ring Virtual Security Guard works with the Rapid Response monitoring company so you can have someone keep tabs on your surveillance. The agents can step in to take action such as triggering alarms, alerting you and even sending emergency services.
- Blink Video Doorbell works wired or wirelessly and starts at $49.99. It has 1080p resolution and works with Alexa.
- Custom event alerts let you create your own alerts based on an area and action, such as a garage door being opened or closed.