Published: Sat, July 13, 2019
IT | By Lester Massey

Amazon to launch new high-quality Echo speaker

Amazon to launch new high-quality Echo speaker

Amazon's Echo first went on sale in 2015 and has been a market leader ever since. However, in spite of Amazon's efforts to build the highest market share, Google is still taking lead with around 31% share. This move to add more audio components into the unit would be a an attempt to edge out competing products from rival companies which boast higher quality sound than Amazon's 2nd generation Echo. Whether Vesta actually sees the light of day or not remains to be seen, but at the very least, the robot is something Amazon is pouring resources into.

The robot was first reported by Bloomberg previous year and was met with denial by an Amazon spokesperson who told the outlet that the company doesn't comment on 'rumors and speculation'. The company could also be developing Alexa-enabled earbuds similar to Apple's AirPods, as a previous report from Bloomberg had also indicated. It's unclear exactly when Amazon plans to introduce the new Echo, but we will probably see it sometime this Fall, which is when the company is also expected to introduce minor updates for the rest of the Echo line. Over a quarter of the adult USA population now owns a smart speaker, with 61 percent using some kind of Amazon Echo device, according to a January 2019 industry survey.

Both these devices- Echo and Alexa, the robot are being developed by AmazonLab126, a research and development arm based in Sunnyvale, California.

According to the report, the robot isn't ready for mass production just yet; however, Amazon has been pulling engineers from other established projects so that they could work on bringing the robot to fruition.

A prototype of the robot, codenamed "Vesta", is about "waist-high", can be controlled by voice and is capable of moving around on its own using built-in cameras, according to the report. During a demo, an engineer is said to have summoned the robot with his voice. Time will tell if a smaller player like Sonos can continue to eek out space in a segment occupied by tech giants with vast R&D budgets like Amazon, Google and Apple.

The company is also working on an Alexa-powered robot.

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