Amazon turns Echo into a sphere, enters gaming universe
San Francisco, US, Sep 24 (efe-epa).- American multinational tech giant Amazon presented its latest developments in hardware and services Thursday, including the conversion of the Echo smart speaker into a sphere and the company’s foray into the world of streaming video games with their platform Luna.
The Seattle firm revealed in an online event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Luna, a service which had been speculated about in the industry for months and that follows the footsteps of Google’s Stadia and Microsoft’s xCloud.
Like these platforms, Luna will offer subscription access ($5.99 per month) to a collection of video games such as “Resident Evil 7,” “Control,” “Panzer Dragoon,” “A Plague Tale: Innocence,” “The Surge 2,” “Yooka-Laylee,” “Grid,” “Abzû” and “Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.”
Amazon also presented a controller for Luna, based on voice assistant Alexa, that connects directly to the Cloud and allows the user to easily switch between different screens, such as from the computer to a mobile and vice versa.
The e-commerce firm also showed for the first time the new Echo spherical speakers, which cost $99.99, are faster than previous models, and available in black, white and blue from Thursday.
The fastest response speed is achieved through a new voice recognition module within the device itself called AZ1 Neural Edge, which allows Alexa to process orders in situ using artificial intelligence before transferring them to the Cloud.
The Echo Show 10 screen was also updated to rotate, and positions itself to be always visible regardless of where the user is.
WHAT’S NEW FOR ALEXA
Alexa also has received significant updates, including improvements in its ability to respond to commands received when multiple people are speaking at the same time, and progress towards a more natural sound by modulating voice tones.
Regarding security products, the firm led by Jeff Bezos introduced a surveillance camera called Always Home Cam, installed on an autonomous drone that flies inside the house from room to room to record and display images from every corner of the house.
This peculiar device, designed for example to be able to monitor all the rooms in a house remotely, will cost $249.99 when it goes on the market next year, and it recharges autonomously by returning to its original position each time it finishes its round.
Other innovations in security were a series of products designed to prevent car theft, which include Car Alarm, a video surveillance camera, and Car Cam and Car Connect, a system that allows the user to connect the car camera (if any) with the Amazon surveillance network.
Finally, the update of streaming device Fire TV Stick, which costs $39.99, and its simpler version, Fire TV Stick Lite, which costs $29.99, is worth highlighting.
Both connect directly to the television and allow streaming content in high definition from entertainment platforms such as Netflix, Hulu and Disney+. EFE-EPA