Amazon Unveils New Echo Clock And Alexa Privacy Features
(CNN) — Amazon kicked off its big media event on Wednesday by introducing new features for its popular Alexa voice assistant, including an option to auto delete voice recordings in an apparent attempt to address recent privacy concerns.
The company announced at a press event at its Seattle headquarters a series of new products coming to its lineup, including a new $59 Echo dock smart speaker with a built-in clock. The device, which is now available for pre-order, displays the outside temperature and allows users to tap the top to snooze it.
Over the past five years, the market for smart speakers that use virtual assistants has ballooned. According to data from tech market researcher Canalys, companies including Amazon, Google, and Baidu shipped 26.1 million smart speakers in the second quarter of this year. Amazon is sitting on top of this market: Canalys reports Amazon shipped a quarter of these speakers, or an estimated 6.6 million between April and June.
Amazon has been working to keep its momentum: Last September, Amazon introduced Alexa-controlled products ranging from the expected (more Echo smart speakers) to the surprising (a $60 AmazonBasics microwave that can warm food via voice commands — such as, “Alexa, heat up one cup of coffee” — when used with an Echo device).