Amazon’s Echo of September: what we expect from Ring and Alexa

Amazon’s Fall 2021 Echo event takes place on Tuesday, September 28 at 9:00 a.m. PT. Amazon will not be live streaming its invitational presentation to the general public, but the company has promised attendees “news on our latest Amazon devices, features and services,” according to invitations which was released on September 20.

We’re waiting for news on all categories of devices and services from Amazon, but what exactly will it be? Perhaps the best indicator is what we’ve seen from the tech giant in previous events.

Amazon devices

Over the past few years, Amazon has launched literally dozens of new devices at its events large and small. Of Auto echo to rotation Echo show 10 to this strange Echo wall clock. Of course new Echo dots and Echo the speakers are often the centerpiece. With such a range of products, anyone can guess what entirely new additions we might see.

Two Echo Dots – including Dot with Clocks – can be linked on the Alexa app to form a stereo pair.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Echo updates

As for updates to existing devices, it’s a bit more predictable. Last year’s event brought the redesign of the Echo and Echo Dot. There are a new speaker or two almost every year, and it wouldn’t surprise us if this year were the same. However, these spherical speakers aren’t even a year old at the time of this writing (they launched on October 22 of last year), so we’re curious if Amazon is already considering releasing a second. generation.


Echo Studio was last released in 2019.


The Echo Studio is at the top of our list of devices that need to be refreshed. It’s been two years since the last Echo Studio, with no major updates except for a Collaboration with Billie Eilish for a special edition. In the years of Amazon products, that’s… a lot.

The Echo Studio barely matches the aesthetics of the new Echo speakers. It will never get Google Assistant support for the best sound Sonos One, but resolving Fire TV’s boring requirement for Dolby Atmos movie sound would be an appealing upgrade for users who prefer another streaming device.

Additionally, Amazon often announces a handful of Day 1 products – experimental devices to gauge market interest. They go from microwave and clocks To wearable rings and eyeglasses – and they don’t always survive long. It’s hard to guess what Amazon will try next, but we think this is Alexa-enabled trash (hey, one way to figure out what’s going on in a house keeps track of what’s going on constantly outside of it).


Alexa is also likely to see updates. Last year, the Echo Show got Netflix and group calling support. The focus on features that support remote working, such as teleconferencing and productivity management, would be appropriate and on the brand.

Amazon is rolling out new Alexa features almost every week and announced a slew of Alexa updates at its annual developer conference, Alexa live, including the Amazon Custom Assistant program which allows third parties to create their own assistants using the Alexa model. Verizon has already jumped at the chance by announcing the Verizon smart display and the ability to say “Hey, Verizon”. The new Alexa features that will be announced at the annual event are hard to call, but we might see first-party features like the celebrity voices from a few years ago.

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Matter always matters

A reminder : Question is still on the smart home horizon. Formerly known as Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP), Matter will be a single, open source, IP-based standard that operates over Wi-Fi and supports all major control platforms. It’s supposed to act as a universal language that smart home devices from manufacturers like Google, Apple, and Amazon could use to connect and understand each other.

Read more: Make way for matter, the so-called skeleton key to the smart home

During Alexa Live, Amazon announced its intention to integrate Matter into almost all Echo devices (except first-gen speakers) via an over-the-air update. Amazon had planned to release the SDK at the end of this year, but it has since been postponed to 2022. We’ll keep our ears open for any news of Matter’s progress during Tuesday’s event.

Ring is the big Amazon brand to watch this fall for three reasons: First, Amazon still seems likely to launch its Camera always at home – the flying drone camera that everyone was talking about last year – in the fourth quarter.

Second, Ring now has more than three years of partnership with Amazon (the tech giant bought the video doorbell company in 2018), which means substantial integrations with Alexa and other Amazon devices and services could finally be done. In progress.

Finally, Ring has faced all kinds of privacy controversies over the past year, especially when it comes to dealing with the police. These need to be dealt with. Let’s describe what each of these three things means for Ring this coming week.


The Always Home Cam is a security drone from Ring, which is yet to be released.


Camera always at home

Ring is unlikely to have waited until a big event like this to announce that he is pushing back the launch of the Always Home Cam – that sort of thing is usually slipped into a Friday press release weeks before an event, for be forgotten over the weekend. Ring hasn’t publicly discussed any updates to the Always Home camera, but we’re still waiting for some sort of announcement regarding the drone camera launch.

Partnerships with Amazon

Amazon’s footprint has quickly spread into homes in recent years. You have Wi-Fi with Eero, security with Ring and Blink, smart home devices with Alexa and outdoor network sharing with Sidewalk – not to mention a menagerie of other types of products such as the Echo Auto and Amazon key. Almost all of these devices and services have been connected in one way or another to Amazon shopping, from the ability to purchase paper towels with a voice command to recording a live stream from their delivery.

Expect that web of integrations to thicken this year, especially before 2022 when Matter falls. The more Amazon can control and organize the security of your home, smart home devices, and more under one roof, the more useful data it gets from you and the more it can make the experience of living in an Amazon powered home. consistently.


The Ring Doorbell 4 is the latest model.

Chris Monroe / CNET


It seems like every year David Limp, Amazon’s senior vice president of devices and services, takes a serious look to talk about privacy – and how Amazon goes out of its way to protect yours.

This year should not be any different, especially in the wake of a particularly busy year 2020 and 2021 for Ring, who has finally taken his steps concerning video sharing with the police more transparent earlier this year. If Ring hasn’t given up on his police partnerships so far, he probably won’t in the future. But that doesn’t mean the company won’t try to introduce security and privacy features (like expanding its video encryption options or Neighbors app constraints).

It’s unclear exactly what this will look like, but we’ll be keeping a listening ear for any information on the privacy front.

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