Early January means it’s time for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The annual four-day conference in Las Vegas showcases companies and developers at the forefront of technology and serves as a global stage for innovation.
Attending CES in person for the first time since the pandemic, Amazon demonstrated a range of its newest inventions, including the new Ring Car Cam and Astro. Amazon also announced updates to its rollout of Matter, the new smart-home communication standard, as well as new features from Ring, voice artificial intelligence vehicle integrations, exciting partnerships with Panasonic and Disney, and devices that utilize Sidewalk—Amazon’s secure, always-on community network.
Here are some of Amazon’s biggest announcements at CES, from exciting demos to new product launches:
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Why Matter matters
Amazon’s vision for the smart home has long been based on open APIs and interoperability. That’s why there are over 140,000 Alexa-compatible smart home device models and over 300 million in-field devices from different brands that are already connected to Alexa and working well together. The company is also a leading contributor to Matter—a new standard developed by the Connectivity Standards Alliance to connect smart home systems and devices so they work together seamlessly.
Last year, Amazon completed its initial wave of Matter rollout when it brought support for the standard to 17 different models of Echo devices, Plugs, Switches, and Bulbs. At CES, Amazon announced the next phase of its Matter launch, bringing support for the standard to well over 100 million in-field devices across 30 different Echo and eero models. Once completed, it will be the largest footprint of Matter-supported devices yet.
In addition, Amazon will bring Matter to new device types like thermostats, blinds, and sensors, along with support for Matter device setup in the Alexa iOS app and Thread border router support on the Echo (4th Gen). With these updates, plus broad support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy, Thread, and Zigbee across Amazon and Alexa devices, customers can mix and match smart home devices from a range of brands with the confidence that they will just work.
Ring expands its product line with dual-facing Car Cam
Ring expanded its product offerings with the Ring Car Cam which is available for pre-order. Ring Car Cam extends Ring security from your home to your vehicle with a dual-facing camera for interior and exterior recording, and smart sensors to detect certain events around and inside your vehicle, whether it’s parked or on the go. Learn more about Ring Car Cam.
Ring also announced the Ring Peephole Cam, a video doorbell that can be easily installed over an existing door peephole in an apartment or rental property. With a 1080p HD camera, night vision, Two-Way Talk, and Knock and Motion Detection, Peephole Cam is perfect for renters.
Ring Peephole Cam is now available in the U.S. at a new, lower price of $129.99.
Voice AI for your car
Amazon and Panasonic announced they will work together on an industry-first technology integration for Panasonic’s SkipGen in-vehicle infotainment system. The partnership will allow customers to simultaneously use Alexa and Siri in Apple CarPlay by simply saying either voice service’s wake word. This ultimately offers customers more choice and flexibility to easily enable iPhone features, Alexa’s in-vehicle controls, and more.
The Alexa Auto Software Development Kit powers the SkipGen integration, giving customers access to over 130,000 custom Alexa skills. This includes customizing car control features, monitoring and controlling smart home devices, and getting weather reports, offline media playback, and navigation.
Amazon and Disney bring magic to CES
For the first time, Amazon publicly demoed the Hey Disney! voice assistant, which will give customers access to a wide range of Disney magic through their Echo devices at home and in select Disney Resort hotel rooms. Customers will be able to interact with more than 20 Disney, Pixar, and Star Wars characters—including Mickey Mouse, Dory from Finding Nemo, and Olaf from Frozen—to hear jokes, play trivia, experience soundscapes, and more. Soon, customers in the U.S. will be able to purchase the service at home through the Alexa Skills Store or enjoy it as part of an Amazon Kids+ subscription.
New Amazon Sidewalk-enabled devices
Amazon announced a host of new third-party devices that will soon join Amazon Sidewalk, the private, secure, always-on community network designed to connect billions of devices. The new devices from New Cosmos USA Inc., Browan, and Meshify (IoT subsidiary of HSB) will be available to customers later this year, while a smart modem from Deviceroy is available now.
These devices work with Sidewalk’s long-range, low-bandwidth connectivity, offering the potential for battery-saving benefits without the costs associated with cellular data or the limited range of Wi-Fi. Aiming to empower even more device makers this year, Amazon will soon give developers open access to tools and resources that will help them rapidly create new Sidewalk-enabled devices.
“Alexa, find an EV charging station”
Amazon announced that later this year, EV drivers in the U.S. will be able to ask Alexa to help them find and navigate to over 150,000 public charging stations. When you ask Alexa to find an EV charging station, you will receive a list of nearby public charging locations, with availability by plug type, and the time and distance to arrival. You can then tell Alexa which charging station you want to use, and you’ll receive navigation instructions to that location.
EVgo, one of the nation’s largest public fast-charging networks, will also be the first EV charging operator to offer voice-initiated payments for charging. If Alexa customers choose an EVgo charging station, they can initiate a charge and pay for it just by asking.
Alexa, meet Josh.ai
Amazon is partnering with Josh.ai to demonstrate the potential of a multi-assistant integration for the Josh.ai home intelligence system. While Josh.ai’s purpose-built assistant controls the smart home and its connected devices, customers will be able to simultaneously use Alexa for a variety of voice requests they know and love, such as checking for the latest sports scores and managing shopping lists.
Alexa Fund showcases innovations in sustainability, accessibility
Amazon’s Alexa Fund invests in technologies and startups that are advancing ambient computing, new media, and the future of smart devices. The Fund seeks to help manufacturers, developers, and startups widen the application of smart technology across accessibility, sustainability, entertainment, and more.
Ten portfolio companies—including Labrador Systems, Orbital Systems, and Cognixion—made announcements and showcased their technology during CES. Learn more about their work.
Amazon Astro meets CES
Astro is a new and different kind of robot that’s designed to help customers with a range of tasks. Astro brings together new advancements in artificial intelligence, computer vision, sensor technology, and voice and edge computing in a package that’s designed to be helpful and convenient.
Amazon previously announced new abilities for Astro, like detecting pets and identifying certain objects in the home. This year, Amazon brought Astro to CES for the first time to showcase the robot—and its increased functionality—in live demonstrations.