With its hardware foray keeping consumers connected to its ecosystem, Amazon is at work on a higher quality Echo speaker as well as its home robot. The eCommerce retailer is looking to roll out the new Echo product by 2020 per unnamed sources, Bloomberg reported.
The speaker’s prototypes are said to be wider than the existing Echo to allow for more components such as four tweeters at a minimum. At the same time, it was reported that the robot can be controlled through Alexa voice commands and has wheels. Amazon Lab126, a Sunnyvale, California-based research and development arm, is developing the devices.
The eCommerce retailer had tried to bolster the sound of Echo in the past through tweaks and also offered a subwoofer and a device that connects the speakers to a stereo. It was also noted that the company is looking to have a version of its music service that is high-fidelity that reportedly will work better with the new Echo. The report noted, however, that Amazon could choose not to go ahead with the new version of the Echo that is high-end.
As far as the robot is concerned, the company reportedly wanted to reveal the device as early as 2019. However, unnamed sources per the report claim the device is not ready for mass production. It was also noted that the company could decide not to roll out the robot even though the company is said to have brought on engineers to work on it from other projects.
In separate Echo news, Amazon launched Alexa Guard in the United States in May — and lets Echo speakers listen in for intruders as well as other dangers. At the time, it was reported that the company had been piloting Alexa Guard in a preview that was invite-only. The Echo speaker will listen for sounds such as fire or C02 alarm going off or the breaking of glass with the free update. The speaker will send an audio clip of the sounds to the user.