Amazon adds Echo devices for home and car in bid to dominate voice gadgets
By Jeffrey Dastin SEATTLE (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc on Thursday introduced a dozen new Echo speakers and related gadgets in a bid to stay ahead of rivals Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google in the nascent category for voice-controlled devices. The flurry of new products shows how the world's largest online retailer is working to make ubiquitous its voice-controlled assistant Alexa, which powers the Echo devices. It wants Alexa to be a dominant computing platform like Microsoft Corp’s Windows.
By Jeffrey Dastin
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc
The flurry of new products shows how the world's largest online retailer is working to make ubiquitous its voice-controlled assistant Alexa, which powers the Echo devices. It wants Alexa to be a dominant computing platform like Microsoft Corp’s
Amazon, at an event in Seattle, announced updated versions of its Echo Show, Echo Dot and Echo Plus, as well as new devices such as a voice-controlled microwave and wall clock. The new Echo Auto is designed to sit on a car's dashboard and give directions or play music, while plugged into a car's power outlet.
Shares of smart speaker company Sonos Inc
The new products underscore a strategic difference from Google and Apple, which so far have released fewer devices while Amazon has released many different gadgets for different purposes.
"One or more of these products is likely to resonate, but (it's) impossible to speculate today," Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said.
Research firm eMarketer has estimated that 40.7 million people in the United States will use Echo devices this year, up more than 31 percent from 2017. Some two-thirds of U.S. smart speaker users will have an Echo this year, versus 30 percent who will have the rival Google Home, which includes some overlapping customers.
David Limp, Amazon's senior vice president of devices and services, who introduced the new gadgets in Seattle, said the company has made setting up the gadgets easier and has improved Alexa's understanding of context.
"They're going to be a lot less transactional, and a lot more conversational," he said.
Amazon.com shares closed up 0.9 percent at $1,943.99.
(Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in Seattle; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Leslie Adler)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.