Amazon on Thursday introduced location-based Routines, what it calls the commands you set up with its digital assistant Alexa to trigger connected devices.
The announcement came alongside the unveiling of Echo Auto, a cassette-tape-sized device you put in your car so Amazon's voice-controlled digital helper can follow along with you wherever you drive. They were two of a landslide of announcements from an Amazon event in Seattle, which the company said would include the largest number of devices and features the company has ever launched at one time.
With location-based Routines, you can set up connected lights to turn on as soon as you arrive home, for example.
After Amazon first launched the original Echo in 2014, the device became a hit for the company and helped usher in a new era of voice computing. Now Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft are racing to build up their own voice assistants and integrate them into more devices to catch Amazon. To stay one step ahead, Amazon aggressively expanded its line of Echo devices, pushed Alexa into hospitality and office spaces, and integrated Alexa with over 20,000 kinds of devices.
Along with the Echo, Amazon has seen success in its equally unflashy but low-priced Fire tablets and Fire TV video streamers. Its rare miss was with the Fire Phone, which quickly failed after coming out in 2014.
As of Thursday morning before the event, Amazon had 11 Alexa-powered gadgets in all: the Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Echo Spot, Echo Dot Kids Edition, Echo Look, Fire TV Cube, Amazon Tap, Echo Connect and Echo Buttons.
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