Amazon is Launching a Whole Set of New Alexa Devices Today

By Holly Brockwell on at

If you didn't think there were already too many smart assistant devices on the market, you're in luck: Amazon is launching a whole new range of Echo hardware in Seattle today.

Your faithful servants at Giz UK are on the ground to give you a first look at the products when they launch later today, but in the meantime, let's indulge in some excited speculation.

What are the new Amazon Echo devices?

As ever with a tech launch, there have been rumours and leaks aplenty about what the new Alexa devices could be. The leaks came from Amazon itself: Pocket Lint found evidence of an Alexa subwoofer and smart plug on the Amazon UK site.

The smart plug is a sensible addition to the range: lots of third-party smart plugs exist that work with Alexa, but Amazon could use its clear advantage to launch a cheaper or more feature-rich version. It can also push the 'own-brand' smart plug when selling Echo devices, which means it'll likely sell very well.

The subwoofer is an interesting one: called Echo Sub, it probably aims to address the feedback from audiophiles that the sound from existing Echo devices isn't as good as it could be. While that means it'll have a more limited audience than the smart plug, Pocket Lint notes that it can be paired with two Alexa devices at once -- meaning we're now looking at Echo in stereo, and potentially paving the way to multi-part hifi-style systems. Exciting.

What else is rumoured?

CNBC has word of up to 8 new Echo devices including some kind of in-car gadget and a microwave. If you're wondering why the world needs an Alexa microwave, consider this: when was the last time you used any button on your microwave apart from Time and Start? The ability to say "Alexa, reheat my rice" and have her automatically apply the best settings would be pretty useful for those of us who always use 100% power and just guess the time.

It seems unlikely that Amazon is manufacturing microwaves though, so if the rumour is true, it'll probably be a third-party product with either Alexa compatibility or built-in.

Unfortunately, there are currently no indications that we'll be getting an Alexa version of Red Dwarf's immortal Talkie Toaster to go with it.

via Giphy

Meanwhile, in-car Alexability makes a lot of sense for directing music, sat nav and other car functions while you're driving, and the three higher-end audio devices CNBC mentions include the subwoofer that's already leaked, adding credence to the rumours.

What else might we see?

There's a decent chance we'll get a new version of the Echo Show, particularly with the recent leak of the Google Home Hub.

We've also been hoping for a waterproof Echo Dot-style device for voice controlling shower music since Alexa was first launched, but so far none of the rumours suggest we'll be getting what our hearts desire. Why do you hate our shower karaoke, Amazon?

Finally, we'd like to sincerely request the ability to turn Alexa into Bad Janet from The Good Place, but we think we'll be disappointed on that front as well. In which case we'll settle for Derek.

via Giphy

What are you hoping to see from the Amazon Alexa launches today? Let us know in the comments, and we'll see you in Seattle later.