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Amazon is having a ball with its new Echo smart speakers


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Amazon held an online event yesterday to unveil its new products for the holiday season, including the latest range of Echo smart speakers.

The obvious change is the design: the new EchoEcho Dots and Echo Dot Kids devices are ball-shaped. The core Echo will cost $99.99, with beefed-up sound quality and a built-in smart home hub. Meanwhile, the kids’ version will look like a panda or tiger (well, if those animals were spherical).

There’s also a smart display, the Echo Show 10, whose 10-inch screen rotates to always be facing its owner when they’re in the room. Amazon also has a partnership to bring Netflix to the device, for the first time.

Alongside the new hardware, Amazon talked about some of the improvements it’s been making to the Alexa voice assistant.

They include asking more ‘clarifying’ questions during conversations with humans, varying its tone, and interacting with several people at the same time.

Stuart Dredge

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