Published: Sat, July 13, 2019
Tech | By

Amazon Working on High-End Echo to Compete With Apple HomePod

Amazon Working on High-End Echo to Compete With Apple HomePod

People who are familiar with the product told Bloomberg that Vesta, in its current form, stands about waist high. Prototypes of the device are said to be wider than the newest Echo, which allows Amazon to pack additional components within the speaker, including up to four tweeters.

Both these devices- Echo and Alexa, the robot are being developed by AmazonLab126, a research and development arm based in Sunnyvale, California. Although Echo rules the market and is speculated to capture 63% of the USA market this year, according to eMarketer, it has lost some ground to rivals which deliver better audio quality. However, it has lost some ground to the Sonos One, Apple Inc. Google commands 31% of the market. Although Amazon's regular Echo and Echo Plus speakers do offer decent sound, they are nowhere near the upper end of the market.

Amazon isn't just looking to satisfy audiophiles with its next-gen products, with the firm also said to be planning an Alexa-enabled robot. It's expected to be functionally very much the same as the existing Echo speaker range, but larger in terms of width. The company also launches individual (generally less-anticipated) products throughout the year. Since the report says that Amazon could launch the speaker by next year, there's a chance we'll see the new device debut around the fall this year.

An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment.

Even though Amazon initially wanted to announce Vesta this year, that doesn't seem like that's happening. That sort of familiarity, plus Amazon's deep pockets, gives it a leg up over the independent home robot ventures that have thus far failed to gain significant traction with consumers.

It's unclear exactly what the intended objective of the device would be, though speculation is that the bot would be a kind of mobile Echo, bringing the Alexa capabilities with users around their home. Amazon's home robot can be controlled by voice and uses built-in cameras. The machine can be summoned by voice.

Interestingly, while Amazon has yet to confirm Vesta, its chief executive officer, Jeff Bezos, once posted an Instagram photo of an Echo speaker taped to a Roomba vacuum. You can also view your smart home camera feed, access recently used devices, and manage smart devices by room. I have no idea.

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