Amazon is reportedly planning to bring its popular Alexa assistant to a slew of new gadgets including home robots and earbuds. Such a move would give Amazon a way to expand its voice-enabled helper beyond the home, a market in which the company's Echo devices have already maintained a steady lead over rivals like Google.
Amazon is developing a new Echo that could be released by next year, according to Bloomberg. That wouldn't be too surprising considering Amazon has previously released new Echo products in the fall.
The report doesn't say much about the new Echo, other than that it's shaped like a cylinder just like the company's current speaker and that it's wider than the version Amazon sells today. That extra space is being used to fit additional components in the device, the report says.
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Amazon has already established a strong presence in the home through the Echo, and now it's hoping to take that a step further with a domestic robot, as Bloomberg also reported.
The company is developing a household robot that has wheels for roaming about the home and navigates using computer vision, according to the report. Like the Echo, users would be able to interact with it using voice commands. The device is being called "Vesta" internally, and the company is said to have ramped up work on the project in recent months.
If Amazon does move forward with its "Vesta" bot, it's unclear when it will launch. The company planned to announced the robot this year, according to Bloomberg, but it's not ready for mass production just yet.
Amazon is reportedly working on a high-definition music service that would offer a better bit rate than CD quality, according to Music Business Worldwide. It's expected to launch before the end of 2019 and could cost $15 per month, the report said citing music industry sources.
That timing suggests there's a chance Amazon could debut the high-fidelity music service alongside the new Echo it's rumored to launch. If Amazon does launch a high-fidelity music streaming service at that price point, it would be cheaper than Tidal, which charges $20 per month for that sound quality.
The company will reportedly release voice-activated earbuds powered by its popular Alexa virtual assistant as early as the second half of 2019, according to Bloomberg. In addition to using your voice to ask questions or summon the weather, you'll be able to execute certain tasks through gestures, says the report. Such actions reportedly include tapping to switch between music tracks or end phone calls. Like AirPods, they are also expected to come in a case that serves as a charger.
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Wireless earbuds aren't the only wearable devices Amazon is said to be working on. The company is reportedly developing a wrist-worn gadget that could recognize human emotions, according to Bloomberg.
The voice-activated device has been described as a health and wellness gadget, and it can discern a user's emotional state by the sound of his or her voice, the report says. The product has been codenamed Dylan, and it's unclear how far along it is. It would work in conjunction with a smartphone app.
The news regarding the product's development comes as rival Apple have been pushing more deeply into health. If Amazon does launch a wrist-worn health device, it would represent yet another area in which Amazon competes with the iPhone maker, along with voice-enabled assistants and music streaming.
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