Newly unveiled smart gadgets from Amazon are positioned to help users at work and at home.
- Amazon's digital assistant Alexa will be the driving force of the devices revealed yesterday.
- While the products announced are predominantly for a consumer market, a number of these new devices can help your small business.
- The company's eero mesh Wi-Fi devices are now available in the U.S. and will expand into Europe this November.
A new line of Alexa-powered devices from Amazon took center stage yesterday at the company's Seattle press conference, giving us a glimpse into the online retail giant's latest tech offerings. Ranging from wearable tech to a smart oven, the latest line of gadgets includes some key devices that could help small businesses stay connected and secure.
Months after its acquisition of mesh router company eero, Amazon announced its new eero mesh Wi-Fi devices. Starting at $99 for a single device or $249 for three, officials said the new devices were released for U.S. customers yesterday. The eero and eero Pro devices will be available in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom in November.
"Our mission at eero is to make the technology in homes just work," said Nick Weaver, co-founder and CEO of eero. "With the new, more affordable eero ... we are advancing that mission so even more customers can experience the magic of simple, reliable Wi-Fi."
For the uninitiated, mesh Wi-Fi takes the concept of using a single router to connect wirelessly to the internet and establishes a more consistent connection by placing multiple devices throughout a home or office.
Created to provide dual-band Wi-Fi with as little setup as possible, eero mesh routers use a companion app to handle your network. Amazon said its new version will allow people to connect various smart devices "in fewer steps with Amazon's Frustration Free Setup."
With three eero mesh routers on the same network, officials said Wi-Fi signals can cover up to 5,000 square feet, though additional configurations with eero Pro and eero Beacon products could increase that range.
Security measures discussed
Anytime you have a major conglomerate like Amazon getting involved in tech that can collect data, it's only natural for people to be concerned. People always wonder what data their smart speakers are collecting without their knowledge, with Amazon's Echo often used as an example.
To that end, Amazon announced a new auto delete feature for Alexa. Users who want to ensure their data is secure can use Amazon's Privacy Hub to require that it deletes video recordings after three or 18 months.
Amazon officials said their new products will "collect minimal network diagnostic information" in order to "improve the performance, stability, and reliability of our products and services."
Additionally, the company said their mesh Wi-Fi devices automatically seek out software updates to ensure they are protected against potential security threats. American users can purchase eero Secure or eero Secure+ to add an additional layer of protection.
Other products announced
Along with its mesh network tech, Amazon revealed a number of improvements to existing devices alongside some new additions to the Alexa line. While the company dutifully announced a new Echo speaker sporting a new design and better sound, they also announced their entry into the smart wearables market.
The former device is a pair of smart glasses that give the wearer hands-free access to Alexa, while the latter is a titanium smart ring that lets people use Alexa through the use of a built-in microphone and speakers. Both new products are available by invitation only with a price tag of $180 and $130, respectively.