Amazon Goes Wild With New Echo Hardware

Amazon's most successful hardware range got a lot wider and a lot more capable today, although official support still remains restricted to a limited number of regions.

The new range of devices includes a updated Echo, now called the Echo Plus, which integrates Zigbee support and a further improved far field microphone array; a new smaller standard Echo, available in a range of premium finishes; and a hybrid of the Dot and Show designed for the bedside table and called Spot.

As well as the new range of hardware Amazon announced a new partnership with BMW, which will see Alexa arrive in new BMWs and MINIs from next year. Unless there's news on a wider geographic spread you can assume this will be for existing Alexa territories only.

There's also a new ability to daisy chain commands from a single voice instruction. Making for a much more 21st Century IoT experience than pulling an app up on your phone.

There were updates for the Fire TV too, which gains 60fps 4k support, at around a third of the price of the Apple TV and looks a good deal, especially for Prime Video subscribers.

All in, a pretty exciting event for Alexa fans, tempered, for me at least, by the lack of support for new regions.

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