Ready for a robot in your home? Amazon thinks you might find it useful, along with several other new product updates to its Echo brand. The new products seem to focus in integration with other Amazon products. (For example, a new Ring Alarm Pro meshes with the Eero Wi-Fi router.)
Another of the products include:
- Amazon’s Smart Thermostat. The thermostat links with Alexa for commands, and also adjust temperature when you are out of the house. Cost: $59.99
- The new Echo Show 15 is a 15.6-inch smart frame that can be mounted on a wall or placed on a stand to show the family calendar, notes, and stream different content. It can also recognize your face and show content personalized for the viewer. Cost: $249.99.
- Capitalizing on the home fitness trend, the new Halo View fitness band has a built-in display and can access studio workouts and meal planning tools. Cost: $3.99/month after the first year with purchase of the fitness band.
- Other new products include Amazon Glow interactive projector for kids, Ring Alarm Pro, Disney virtual assistant, and Alexa Together remote care subscription service.
But our favorite might just be Astro, the home robot. Astro has a cute looking monitor as it rolls around the house and can be commanded by Alexa. Astro can have pre-set routine household patrols (on one floor only, no stairs) and uses a periscope with a 12-megapixel camera that can be raised to 42-inches. It can create a 3-D map of the house so it can be dispatched to various rooms on command. Sensors keep it from crashing into people and walls. But the best feature – a cargo bin so that small items (such as cans of beverages) can be transported to humans who are in another room. Cost: $999.99 to a limited number of invites.
Hmmm. I can see it now – “Astro, bring me a drink during the football game.”
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss the importance of product development and innovation.
- Amazon is usually considered only as a retailer. Why is it investing so much in new product development?
- Show video of Amazon’s latest product launch: https://youtu.be/nOYctKrANxQ
- The announcements can be accessed at: https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/devices/amazon-devices-services-news-september-2021
- A short video on Astro: https://youtu.be/h-2LXb-0Rfs
- Divide students into teams and assign each team one of the products. Have students determine the target market for the products. How should the product be promoted?
Source: Amazon; New York Times; Wall Street Journal; other news sources