Amazon to launch a new 15-inch, wall-mountable Echo device
Amazon’s hardware division is definitely keeping busy, most recently, with the announcement of an updated Kinde Paperwhite and Paperwhite Signature Edition. There is another hardware announcement event on the horizon, officially set for September 28. A Bloomberg report claims to offer a potential insider scoop on the hardware Amazon is likely to unveil.
A large, 15-inch Amazon Echo display device is likely to be headlining the event. Codenamed Hoya, it is meant to either go on your wall or a flat surface, with an optional stand. Its primary use case is apparently to control smart home devices, like lights and appliances, with the size suggesting it is envisioned as sort of a central smart home hub, of sorts. Like its Echo Show siblings, however, it will also, more-than-likely find other utility in places like the kitchen or for tasks like video calls. Apparently, its UI has supports for widgets, like weather, timers and calendars. It can also be a digital photo frame. Even third-party video streaming apps, like Netflix and probably YouTube (since the two companies successfully resolved their differences on that front a while back) will be supported on the Hoya as well.
Another alleged entirely new product Amazon might launch is a TV soundbar. One, unsurprisingly, with Alexa support baked-in. There are plenty of third-party products already delivering those features, some even selling on Amazon and chances are they are selling well-enough if Amazon has decided to muscle-in on the action. Unfortunately, this is sort of a well-established, even if less-then-honorable practice for the e-commerce giant. Having access to everyone’s sales numbers and controlling the sales channels themselves often allows Amazon to zone-in on interesting products, create variants of their own, frequently cheaper, with more subsidies and better economy of scale and logistical costs and start pushing those to willing customers. But, we digress.
Last, but not least, we can probably expect to see an updated version, second-generation Echo Auto device at the event. Codenamed Marion, it is said to feature wireless charging for your phone.
One thing that is reportedly still in the development pipelines, but is experiencing some turmoil and will probably not be announced any time soon is the Alexa-enabled home robot, codenamed Vesta. We are also not likely to see new versions of the Echo Show devices, since Amazon already launched a new Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show 10 last year and then updated the Echo Show 5 and 8. Same goes for Fire sticks, with a new Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite, as well as a Fire TV Stick 4K Max already a thing.