We’re now 15 minutes away from the start of today’s Amazon event – and we’re starting to get excited for some of the more ‘out there’ devices we could see today.
No Amazon event is complete without the announcement of bonkers smart home devices. Last year, the company announced its first smart glasses, the Amazon Echo Frames, and the Echo Loop, a smart, Alexa-powered ring (yes, you read that correctly).
Both devices are only available under invitation only, so perhaps the 2020 event could be when the smart wearables are released to the general public.
2019’s event didn’t stop at wearables, however; Amazon also brought us a smart oven and a smart lamp, while previous years have seen the likes of the Amazon Echo Wall Clock. You can almost be certain that the 2020 event will bring more Alexa-powered home appliances, as smart home devices become more and more popular.
Today’s event won’t be just about audio, though:
New Amazon Fire TV devices
It’s been a while since we’ve seen new Amazon Fire TV streaming devices; the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K launched in 2018, and while the Fire TV Cube was updated in 2019, it could be time for an 8K Fire TV device, to complement the new wave of 8K TVs in 2020.
Alexa improvements and service updates
The invitation to the hardware event that was sent to the media mentioned “Devices and Services” – and that means we could see some updates to Alexa, as well as new products.
Last year, Amazon announced a new Alexa skill that allows the voice assistant to speak with actor Samuel L. Jackson’s voice (for a fee). It’s possible that more celebrity voices for Alexa will be announced, although the sombre global mood in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic could put a damper on more frivolous announcements.
Today’s event could also see some updates to Amazon’s services, including Prime Video, Amazon Music, Audible, and more.
Right, so let’s get onto what we’re going to see? Yeah, it’s all about the sound to start:
New Amazon Echo speakers
Last year’s hardware event gave us a bevy of new Amazon Echo speakers, and we’re expecting more of the same in 2020.
Some of Amazon’s smart speakers were given updates, like the Amazon Echo and the Echo Dot with Clock, while some were completely new models, like the Amazon Echo Studio, which is the brand’s high-spec, audiophile-targeting Dolby Atmos speaker.
It’s possible that the 2020 hardware event will bring a smaller, cheaper version of the Echo Studio – perhaps sold as a pair of stereo speakers, to boost the Studio’s home cinema capabilities.
What would be even better than that? An Amazon Echo soundbar, complete with Dolby Atmos to compete with the Sonos Arc.
2019 also saw in the budget-friendly Amazon Echo Flex, which brings Alexa smarts to your home by plugging into a mains power socket and connecting to your home’s Wi-Fi network.
Since then, Amazon has announced a new accessory for the tiny speaker that turns it into a clock too. Called the Smart Clock For Echo Flex, this handy attachment tells you the time and can also automatically adjust its brightness throughout the day.
We could see more Echo Flex accessories later today; we’d love to see a modular speaker add-on, to boost the Flex’s tinny audio quality.
It’s probably about time for Amazon to update its range of smart displays, too; last year brought us the Echo Show 8, which combined the audio quality of the 10-inch Echo Show, with the camera shutter of the Echo Show 5, all in a new eight-inch form. Now that the line up is complete, could we be in for a complete refresh of the Show series? Only time will tell.
New Amazon Echo Buds
While we were impressed by their budget-friendly price and excellent noise reduction, the sound quality and battery life left a lot to be desired – and that means the Echo Buds are due an upgrade in 2020.
We’re t-minus just-under-an-hour away from the event starting – we’re not hearing too much in the way of exciting news emanating from the (virtual) event hall itself.
This time last year we were sat in the audience, unaware that there was going to be a tsunami of Amazon products coming our way – Echo Dots with clocks on, better-sounding speakers, clocks with countdown LEDs on… the list is endless.
Well, not endless. There were about two dozen of them.
Looking forward to the Amazon event today. I’m predicting they will announce an Alexa vacuum.September 24, 2020
Thanks for the cheese and wine @AmazonUK! Am guessing this is an early birthday present and nothing to do with your big #amazondevices event tonight? pic.twitter.com/u3JyQ9yDHdSeptember 24, 2020
Welcome to our Amazon Hardware Event 2020 live blog, where you’ll find all the news and rumors in the build up to Amazon’s product launches, as well as coverage of the event itself as it happens.
We have just over two hours to go until the event kicks off – so we’ll be taking you through some of the products we’re hoping to see later today as we wait for the curtains to open on the 2020 Amazon event.
But first, here are the important things to know:
- The Amazon Hardware Event 2020 is today (September 24)
- It kicks off at 10 am PT/ 1pm ET / 6pm BST (3am, September 25 for our Australian readers)
- It’s not being live streamed to the public – but you can follow this amazing live blog for all the announcements.