During Amazon’s annual September fall event this week, the retailer introduced a new suite of home security and smart home devices — some items are available for pre-order right now, while others will release in the future, timed for shipping in time for the holidays.
The use of in-home technology, particularly smart home devices, is on the rise. More people than ever are working from home, and as a result, the purchase of in-home devices and security systems is expected to increase. While SafeHome estimates that 37 million households will own some kind of home security system by 2023, smart home devices make up almost $100 billion in the 2021 market. Smart home devices alone are expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 10.4 percent in the next year alone according to marketsandmarkets.
Amazon’s new home security devices
Amazon’s home security device announcements offer a plethora of products familiar within the smart security space, with some Amazon flourishes. From floodlights that trigger upon movement to doorbells that help monitor who’s at the front door, these products are designed to increase awareness of surroundings and an easy response to visitors.
Blink Video Doorbell (pre-order, ships Oct. 21)
With a wired or a wire-free option, Amazon's Blink Video Doorbell is the first smart doorbell from the retail giant and promises HD day and night video so you can see exactly who is at your door. The smart home device connects with your smartphone, providing chime app alerts when someone rings the bell. If you need to chat, the Doorbell offers two-way audio so consumers can communicate via voice. It also features a long lasting battery life for peace of mind for consumers.
The Doorbell can also be bundled with Blink Outdoor Cam (itself a release listed below) in one-, two- or three-packs for a complete yard setup.
Blink Outdoor + Floodlight (pre-order, ships Oct. 21)
The Blink Outdoor + Floodlight isa battery-powered LED floodlight mount that will collaborate with Blink Outdoor to enhance smart security systems during evening hours. You can expect 700 lumens of motion-triggered lighting. You will also be able to choose between plain flood lights or a camera with 1080p HD video quality. It easily pairs with Amazon Alexa so you can check who has triggered the backyard light at any time. You can also customize motion detection zones alerts and set light triggers from your smartphone.
Ring Alarm Pro (pre-order, ships Nov. 3)
Sporting a built-in eero Wi-Fi 6 router, the Ring Alarm Pro provides Wi-Fi 6-enabled home security for any space. It can pair with all Alexa-enabled security devices like the Blink Doorbell, and Floodlights for extra security. It also features optional 24/7 backup internet with speeds of up to 900 megabytes per second. You can also expect it tocover 1,500-square feet thanks to an Alarm Pro Base Station, though this add-on will require a Ring Protect Pro subscription, which is sold separately. Should you need an emergency health line,the Alarm Pro comes with voice activation emergency help. Most importantly, the device protects against and provides alerts for the following: break-ins, floods, fires, and online threats.
Ring Always Home Cam (invitation only)
One of the first of its kind, the Ring Always Home Cam is a flying security camera which you can control with the Ring mobile app. The camera is always blocked when docked for extra privacy, and it will only record when it is flying around your space. You can customize the flying path in your space with navigation sensors to ensure no corner is left unnoticed. When motion detectors are triggered, the Cam flies from the dock and to the area of interest. The camera itself shows 120-degree view on all sides with a 1440 x 1440 HD in-flight Live View display. You can expect compatibility with both 2.4 and 5.0 GHz bands, and there is a built-in rechargeable battery for up to 220 volts with the USB-C power adapter.
Amazon’s smart home devices
Amazon’s integrated smart home technology takes its offerings in the space to some familiar spaces and brand new ones.
Amazon Astro (Invitation only)
Amazon’s premier robot actively monitors your home space using advanced navigation technology — the Astro can be used to check on specific rooms or things remotely. Sporting a detachable cup holder and the ability to carry other items, the Astro will also be able to find you in your home to provide messages, calls and voice chats from a 1080 Periscope camera with 132-degree field of view. Should you need to set a timer, you can with an interactive 10.1-inch HD touchscreen display with 1280 x 800 resolution. Combined with an Alexa Together subscription (coming soon), you can also help family members set up shopping lists and activity alerts. Should it run low on a charge, the Astro recharges in 45 minutes. The robot will support dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity as well as Bluetooth capabilities for connecting with speakers and hands-free voice control.
Amazon Smart Thermostat (pre-order, ships Nov. 4)
Built with 33 percent recycled plastic and in conjunction with Honeywell technology, the Smart Thermostat is compatible with Alexa smart home devices to adjust your home’s temperature accordingly. Consumers will be able to choose the option with a c-wire or without a c-wire. In order for this to function via voice command, consumers will need to have either an Amazon Echo or a Dot. It will also come with a digital touch screen to manually adjust the temperature as needed. The Blink Smart thermostat also received an Energystar certification.
Amazon Echo Show 15 (coming soon)
The latest iteration of the Echo Show family, this 15.6-inch, 1080p full HD display can be mounted or placed on a table in either portrait or landscape orientation for ultimate convenience. Amazon redesigned the home screen for more customization and personalization features, including visual ID with a 5MP camera and voice ID, to build a better smart home experience. Coupled with new features Amazon introduced such as a household calendar, sticky notes, and Alexa Together, the next-generation Amazon AZ2 Neural Edge processor will provide a smoother, faster experience than its previous iteration. Should you prefer to hide the home screen, the Photo Frame feature will transform the home screen into family pictures from Amazon Photos or Facebook.
Amazon Glow (invitation only)
The Amazon Glow combines two worlds: HD video display and projected space. The projector and video-calling device allows for video calls on a dedicated eight-inch display. Furthermore, it provides a 19-inch touch-sensitive projected space featuring activities with which children can interact. Using the free Glow mobile app, remote friends and family will be able to interact with the child’s touch-sensitive projected space for a fun, engaging experience. Also included is a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, which after one year will convert to a $3 monthly subscription.
Halo View (coming soon)
Amazon's latest fitness wearable features a new AMOLED display. You'll be able to track key health metrics including heart rate, workout intensity, and sleep cycles. Two new unique Halo membership experiences, the Halo Fitness and the Halo Nutrition, will provide you with an extra boost to health benefits, making sure diet and fitness goals are optimized. Halo Nutrition is expected to drop in January 2022, and Halo Fitness will provide studio workouts and provide access to real-time workout metrics. It currently comes in two TPU-material band sizes and in three colors: sage green, lavender dream, and active black. Amazon has yet to announce a release date yet has stated that the Halo View will be available for purchase in time for the holidays.
New Alexa features
For families that have busy schedules, Amazon announced a host of new features to make scheduling events easier. They even added a few new features specifically catered to family-oriented experiences in-app.
In collaboration with Disney, Amazon’s Echo devices will allow users to interact with various characters from Disney, Pixar and Star Wars. In order to use the app, you will need to simply say, “Hey Disney,” and this feature will come alive. While no date was announced, consumers can expect this feature in 2022.
A revolutionary widget for scheduling was also announced by Amazon today: the Household Calendar app. With touchscreen or voice commands, you can add events, appointments, and everything in between. For a more customizable experience, Amazon allows its Visual ID feature to recognize you and pull up your personalized daily events and reminders so you know exactly what’s going on in your day.
Amazon also announced a Sticky Notes feature. The app will display a digital sticky note on the Amazon Echo device. On the device, you can also create and assign notes to certain household members to help remind them of various tasks or even just a friendly note.
Two new features were introduced at the fall event: Alexa, Open Sling TV; and Alexa, Open TikTok. These features will be implemented across all Amazon Echo Show devices and will allow users to find TikTok content with ease. Users will be able to customize the content to watch live sports on Sling TV or find the latest TikTok trends with voice commands.
A new subscription service that will provide aging family members a more independent lifestyle, it uses the Care Hub and expands on its features. A 24/7 Urgent Response helpline, fall detection services that are compatible with third-party products, and an optional Remote Assist feature will help make living independently easier. It also offers the ability to add multiple caregivers. Amazon stated this service will launch later this year, and users can expect to pay $20 monthly after a six-month trial for new members, and a one-year trial for current Care Hub customers.
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