Amazon has added a number of new products and services to its arsenal, including several that will be of interest to CI dealers beyond dealing with them on the client’s network. In addition to several new flavors of Echo — including a large, wall mounted version and a free-roaming one on wheels — its Ring division has upped the ante with partnerships with eero and Home Depot, and the company has taken a cue from Josh.ai and now allows customers to keep their voice commands local for the sake of security.
Ring Alarm Pro, Ring Edge, More
New in the world of Ring is the Ring Alarm Pro ($249.99), which comes packaged with an eero Wi-Fi-6 router to ensure all devices remain connected, and the Ring Edge, which provides the ability to store videos locally on a 64 GB microSD card. Plus, Ring offers several new security services, including one called Ring Protect Pro.
From Mike Harris, COO, Amazon: With the new Ring Protect Pro subscription, your connected devices can stay online with 24/7 Backup Internet, which keeps your devices — including laptops and security cameras — online and functioning with cellular data. When the internet goes out, you’ll have 3 GB of cellular data included per month, which means you can record approximately 300 Ring videos, 1.5 hours of video streaming, or 2 hours of video calls on a laptop. You can also opt into Extra Data for $3 per additional GB used. Plus, if the power goes out, you can connect up to four Ring Power Packs to keep 24/7 Backup Internet up and running until power is restored.
Additionally, with Ring Protect Pro, you’ll also get access to optional professional monitoring, eero Secure security features such as threat protection, ad blocking, and content filtering, as well as the Alexa Guard Plus hands-free emergency helpline.
Another security subscription plan that was announced is Virtual Security Guide, which, for $99/month, allows clients to decide which Ring outdoor cameras are professionally monitored and when.
The professional side of that is covered in the new Ring Job Site Security, which is available at Home Depot and starts at $399.99. With this service, job site managers can customize their Ring security kit by adding security cameras such as Ring Stick Up Cam Battery, various Ring Smart Lighting devices, and accessories such as Ring Power Packs that provide additional battery backup, and the new Ring Alarm Outdoor Contact Sensor that helps secure areas such as outdoor gates, sheds, fencing, and more.
Additionally, the company also introduced a new entry-level Blink Video Doorbell for $49.99, as well as an entry-level smart thermometer, in partnership with Honeywell, for $59.99.
Wall-Mounted Echo and Privacy Update
With a 15.6-inch, 1080p Full HD display, the new Echo Show 15 ($249.99) can be mounted on a wall or placed on a counter — either in portrait or landscape orientation — and is designed to help families stay organized, connected, and entertained. Echo Show 15 is built with the next-generation Amazon AZ2 Neural Edge processor, a redesigned home screen with more customization options, new personalization features with visual ID, and all-new Alexa experiences. When not organizing your life, it can be used to watch streaming services such as Prime Video, Netflix, or Hulu, and, soon, SLING TV.
The Echo Show 15 touts Amazon’s new privacy protocols, including microphone and camera controls, the ability to view and delete voice recordings, and a built-in shutter to cover the camera. On the Echo Show 15’s web page, it adds, “Amazon is not in the business of selling your personal information to others.”
Plus, there’s this, from the event’s press materials: Now, customers in the U.S. with the 4th-generation Echo and Echo Show 10 — which use our AZ1 Neural Edge processor — and Echo Show 15, which uses our new AZ2 Neural Edge processor, can choose to have the audio of their Alexa voice requests processed directly on device and not sent to the cloud. With this setting, customers’ voice recordings are also automatically deleted after the on-device processing. Text transcripts will still be sent to the cloud and available in the Alexa app until you decide to delete them. You can access the new setting in the Alexa app.
Amazon also showed an Echo on wheels as a robot called Astro. It has eyes and is kinda cute, but I suppose it all depends on your perspective if it is an effective household tool or something else to trip over as you are trying to make it out the door.
One of the more interesting uses of this tech came near the end of the presentation, with the revelation of Alexa Together, Amazon’s new aging-in-place subscription service that is designed to help aging family members feel more comfortable and confident living independently. The service takes the popular aspects of Amazon’s Care Hub — the activity feed, Care alerts, and easy ways to stay connected — and delivers a deeper experience, with 24/7 hands-free access to an Urgent Response professional emergency helpline and compatibility with third-party fall detection devices from brands like ATS and Vayyar.
An optional Remote Assist feature means caregivers can help a loved one by setting reminders, help manage shopping lists, set up music services, and more without having to be there in person. Starting early next year, multiple people will be able to connect their accounts so more family members can stay in the loop and help provide support. Alexa Together will be available for $19.99 a month, after a free six-month trial for new customers or a one-year trial for existing Care Hub customers, when Alexa Together launches later this year.
Naturally, you can find more information on nearly all of these products and services at Amazon.com.