Amazon’s new Echo and Echo Dot smart speakers have a new design — they all have a semi-spherical design, except for the flat bottom that lets them stand on flat surface.
The new Amazon Echo is a $99 cloth-covered circle with built-in support for smart home features including Zigbee and Sidewalk protocols and a new, more energy-efficient design.
Under the hood of then new Echo is what Amazon calls its “first-generation AZ1 Neural Edge processor.” The company says it’s built for on-device machine learning, enabling 2X faster speech recognition, among other things.
The company says it also uses 20 times less power and and 85-percent less memory than its earlier speech processing solutions, and that’s significant because Amazon is also emphasizing the fact that its new products are more environmentally friendly than their predecessors.
According to Amazon, all of its new Echo and Fire TV products use recycled materials such as fabric and aluminum, and they’ll be some of the first products available from Amazon.com that have a Climate Pledge Friendly badge.
There will also be support for a new “Low Power Mode” for all new Echo and Fire TV devices that are designed to remain plugged into the wall, cutting the devices’ energy consumption. Low Power Mode will roll out as an over-the-air update for some existing products in the future.
The new Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock will be available later this year, and each features a 1.6 front-firing speaker. The Dot will be available in grey, white, and blue colors.
Amazon’s Echo Dot Kids Edition comes with a 1-year subscription to Amazon Kids+ and make use of the new spherical designs to come in two new styles: panda or tiger.