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5 Things From Amazon’s Fall Hardware Event Still Geeking Out About

Now that the dust has settled, we’re still soaking up all the juicy announcements Amazon made during its annual fall hardware event. Even though it wasn’t entirely surprising to hear about a refreshed line of Echo smart speakers, Amazon did manage to sneak in a few surprises that expands its smart home product portfolio.

Don’t get us wrong, the hardware certainly gets us really excited, but there were new services and software features unveiled across its portfolio that were equally compelling. In fact, one of them has those life saving implications under emergency situations — a quality that we can’t overlook.

We’re stoked to get our hands on these new products to really understand what they have to offer, but before we do, here are the biggest things we’re still geeking out about from the event.

  

A Smart Speaker Doubles As a Mesh Wi-Fi Access Point

Everyone by now owns some kind of smart speaker. Not only are they relatively affordable, but they’re widely considered the gateway to the smart home. That’s why we are thrilled to know that Amazon realizes the gravity of having them around the home.

Amazon Echo Dot Eero Built-In

With the new Echo Dot (5th Gen), Amazon’s latest smart speaker doubles as an Eero Wi-Fi mesh access point. Given the cost of buying a standard Eero access point, this integrated feature with the Echo Dot (5th Gen) is simply remarkable. If you don’t own an Eero Mesh Wi-Fi router, this may be an incentive because you can easily blanket your entire home with sufficient coverage using the new Echo Dot speaker.

In fact, it’ll provide upwards of 1,000 square feet of coverage. This is especially handy with dead spots you might have around the home where the Wi-Fi coverage is unstable. Now, you can plop an Echo Dot (5th Gen) somewhere in between it and the Eero router to cover the gap.

Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen)

  

Contactless Sleep Tracking With Halo Rise

Many fitness trackers and smartwatches tout their ability to track your sleep at night, but that means having to wear them on your wrist while you sleep. For some folks, it’s an uncomfortable feeling they wouldn’t want to deal with as they try to get a good night’s rest.

Halo Rise

That’s why we’re still geeking over how Amazon’s new Halo Rise doesn’t require you to wear anything at all. Most notably, it does all of its sleep tracking with a suite of contact sensors and machine learning — all to distinguish when you go to bed, sleep, and get up in the morning. You basically don’t have to do anything on your part for it to track your sleep. You simply just sleep. That’s all.

When you wake up, you’ll receive a report that details your sleep and it’ll also provide recommendations on how you can improve it. Oftentimes, people forget the importance of sleep, so having a bedside gadget that does it all on its own without any intervention is sweet.

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Finally, There’s a Kindle You Can Write On

Call it a long time in the making, but the new Amazon Kindle Scribe takes the popular e-reader series to a new level with the addition of a pen for writing and drawing. With this included tool, Kindle Scribe owners will be able to take proper notes and really make the e-reader a proper journal or notebook.

Amazon Kindle Scribe

Why bother with a heavy binder when you’ll be able to cram hundreds and thousands of pages with the Kindle Scribe. In addition, a software feature that’ll be released in early 2023 will give Scribe owners the ability to edit PDFs and other documents. That means you can highlight something or sign your name at ease to a contract, which beats doing it with your finger.

Add to that the weeks of battery life that the Amazon Kindle Scribe touts, this is shaping up to be one of the best Christmas gifts for the upcoming holiday season.

Amazon Kindle Scribe

  

The New Fire TV Omni QLED Series Is Literally a Work of Art

Amazon’s line of Fire TVs have often been a fan favorite among budget shoppers, but the new line of Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED series takes the next step. While movie watchers will relish over the better specs, like its 4K QLED display that supports Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+, the new series has a more profound presence in the home courtesy of the Fire TV Ambient Experience.

Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED Series lifestyle

Instead of being used mainly for binge watching your favorite shows and movies, the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED series features a mode where it essentially becomes a canvas for various works of art. With the help of presence sensors, the smart TV can tell if someone is or isn’t watching — which it’ll then display a rotating carousel of artwork, photos, and even Alexa widgets. Functionally, it gives the TV a practical function when it’s not being actively used.

Fire TV Omni QLED Series

  

And Yes, A Robot Can Potentially Save Lives

Amazon’s Astro was unveiled at last year’s hardware event, but it did make another appear at this year’s show. Specifically, it will soon be able to work with Ring’s Virtual Security Guard service to have an actual human determine whether emergency service is needed.

Amazon Astro with Ring Virtual Security Guard Virtual

When Astro is set to patrol the home when you’re not at home, it can watch out for motion detection and even be alerted by other triggers with Ring’s home security system. For example, if one of the window sensors were tripped, a professional monitoring specialist from Rapid Response would be able to tap into Astro’s built-in camera to assess the threat. If emergency service is indeed needed, they will be able to call for help.

This new feature could potentially save lives and it’s exactly the sort of thing we appreciate our tech gadgets could do.

Amazon Astro

  

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