Published on September 21st, 2023 | by Adrian Gunning
Amazon launches new Echo device and Fire TV upgrades to Australia
Overnight, Amazon hosted its inaugural fall event at Amazon’s brand-new HQ2 in Arlington, Virginia and announced a number of new devices and services – from an early look into the future of Alexa powered by generative AI, to simplified smart home device-management, safety features, accessibility improvements and more.
These announcements are driving the next step in Amazon’s continued vision for ambient intelligence: technology that’s smart enough to learn, adapt and be there when you need it, and fade into the background when you don’t.
Several updates will be arriving in Australia over the next few months, including the all-new Echo Hub, Fire TV Stick 4K Max and Fire TV Stick 4K.
NEW DEVICE – Echo Hub:
The all-new Echo Hub is an Alexa-enabled smart home control panel, designed to give customers a simple and intuitive way to manage disparate smart home devices. It’s easy to install and features a thin, eight-inch, touch-enabled display with a customisable dashboard that makes it simple for customers to group and manage smart home devices, view multiple feeds at once, start a Routine, organise widgets, and manage volume and media streaming. In addition, Echo Hub is compatible with more than 10,000 connected cameras, lights, locks, plugs, thermostats, speakers, and more.
Echo Hub retails for AU$329 and customers can sign up to be notified when pre-orders are available in Australia.
NEW DEVICE – Fire TV Stick 4K Max:
The Fire TV Stick 4K Max is the first streaming media player to come with the Fire TV Ambient Experience and features an upgraded 2.0GHz quad-core processor, making it Amazon’s smartest and most powerful streaming stick yet. The Fire TV Stick 4K Max is the industry’s first streaming stick to include support for Wi-Fi 6E, meaning customers with a compatible router can enjoy the smoothest streaming experience with lower latency, faster speeds, and less interference from other Wi-Fi-enabled devices in the home.
The Fire TV Stick 4K Max retails for AU$119 and will be available for pre-order today.
NEW DEVICE – Fire TV Stick 4K:
The all-new Fire TV Stick 4K is the next generation of Amazon’s best-selling 4K streaming media player. Featuring an updated 1.7GHz quad-core processor, the model is nearly 30% more powerful than the previous generation.
The Fire TV Stick 4K retails for AU$79 and will be available for pre-order today.
NEW FEATURE – Fire TV Ambient Experience:
The Ambient Experience transforms the TV into a beautiful, always-smart display. When activated, blank TV screens can be transformed into beautiful art from a collection of over 2,000 free artworks or display personal photos, including from renowned Indigenous Australian artist Biddee Baadjo, and Australian contemporary artist Nicole Blake. The Ambient Experience also allows users to display helpful information by syncing calendars and reminders, leaving sticky notes for family members, or playing audio from Amazon Music or Spotify.
The Fire TV Ambient Experience will be available on the Fire TV Stick 4K Max.
NEW FEATURE – Top Connections for Echo Show 15:
Top Connections widget feature on Echo Show 15 makes it even easier for customers to connect with those that matter most. The widget allows the user to easily see their favourite contacts and most frequently used devices within the household, enabling them to quickly initiate a call or drop-in with a single tap.
Top Connections is available in Australian on the Echo Show 15, and this will extend to the Echo Show 5, 8, and 10 in the coming months.
NEW FEATURE – Adaptive Content for Echo Show 8:
Adaptive Content is a fresh home screen experience for the Echo Show 8 which uses on-device computer vision technology to adjust on-screen content based on a customer’s proximity to the device. This new feature allows a customer to view content easily from across a room, such as a large clock display, with the screen automatically transitioning to a more detailed view as they approach the device.
Adaptive content will be available in Australia on Echo Show 8 (2nd generation) next month and will roll out to other Echo Show devices next year.
In addition to the local arrivals, Amazon gave an early look into the future of Alexa—an even smarter and more conversational Alexa—powered by generative AI. It’s based on a new large language model that’s been custom-built and specifically optimised for voice interactions, and the things we know customers love—getting real-time news and information, efficient smart home control, and maximising their home entertainment.