In short: Amazon reportedly plans on releasing at least eight new devices equipped with support for Alexa in the near future. While a number of these will be in line with the type of devices the company already offers, some will be a little newer. For example, Amazon will reportedly launch an Alexa-enabled microwave, as well as a product for the car, and new audio equipment, including an amplifier, a receiver, and a subwoofer.
Background: Amazon has been greatly expanding its Alexa-related portfolio recently and a new report out of CNBC suggests the online retailer is now about to massively expand its lineup with the report suggesting the new devices are expected to arrive before the year is out, and some may even be announced as early as this month at a dedicated launch event. Although it currently remains unclear how many devices will actually come with the voice assistant technology built-in, and how many will simply support connection and control by an Alexa-equipped device. The understanding is the new devices will represent a mixture of both.
Impact: Besides the fact this seems like a fairly large addition to the Alexa-support product lineup, the underlying suggestion is this marks a much grander Alexa expansion than just at the hardware level. For example, some of these products will help Alexa to further expand into other areas of everyday life, such as the home and the car. Of course, Alexa itself has already reached these two particular areas through a number of third-party solutions, but this seems to be the main difference, with the likes of the microwave and the in-car “gadget” representing the first Amazon-made products in these areas. In contrast, Amazon already has a number of speaker-related devices available such as its Echo line of speakers. Therefore the amplifier, receiver, and subwoofer further point to Amazon seeing increased value in offering more audio-based solutions for the home. It’s worth pointing out the report states the expectation is “at least” eight new devices are coming, so the list could be much greater, and even more diverse than what has been suggested so far.