This is the week of the big Consumer Electronics Show (CES). While Amazon doesn’t typically make many announcements at CES, there are usually a few noteworthy things related to Alexa, Echos, Ring, and other Amazon brands that come out of the show. Here is a roundup of the top news from Amazon at CES.
Amazon has announced that it is bringing Matter-over-Thread support to Echo devices this spring. While Amazon already started rolling out Matter support to Echo devices last month, that support was only over WiFi. Thread is the new wireless protocol built specifically for IoT devices. Amazon says the 4th-gen Echo will soon be capable of acting as a Thread router. Amazon is also expanded its matter support to include thermostats, blinds, and sensors, which is on top of the existing Light bulb, plug, and switch support that already exists. Amazon is also adding Matter support to its Alexa iOS app this spring.
At CES, Amazon announced that smart home device names will now be synced across the Alexa app and the device manufacturer. This means that if you change the name of a device in the Alexa app, that new name will automatically be reflected in the manufacturer’s app where the device was initially configured, and vice versa. Deleting a device in one location should also be synced to the other as well. For this new feature to work, device manufacturers need to update things on their end to support it, so it will be rolled out on an app-by-app basis. The feature is currently available as a developer preview for device manufacturers to test.
Ring Car Cam
Amazon has announced the new Ring Car Cam, which is a dual-facing dash cam that integrates into the Ring camera network. The product features two 1080p cameras, one facing out the front windshield and one facing the inside of the car. The interior-facing camera can be blocked with a privacy shutter if you prefer to only record the road. It’s available to pre-order now for $199.99 and will be released on February 15th.
Ring Peephole Cam
Amazon announced the return of the Ring Peephole Cam at the new lower price of $129.99. This security camera is mounted in the peephole of your front door to avoid needing to drill or wire anything more permanent, making it great for renters. The camera features a built-in doorbell and functions much like Ring’s popular standard doorbell cameras. It’s powered by a rechargeable battery pack that is accessed from the portion of the unit that is inside the house. The Ring Peephole Cam was initially released in late 2020 for $199.99 but has been unavailable for about a year. Orders will ship immediately.
Amazon Astro, the home assistant robot, has been available by invite-only for over a year now, but Amazon notably didn’t display the ambitious device at CES last year. Things are different this year as Astro is out at CES for everyone to see. It also seems as though Amazon is increasing the number of purchase invitations it’s willing to send out lately. Apart from the recent ability to better identify certain objects in the home and pets, the robot’s abilities haven’t changed much.
“Amazon announced that smart home device names will now be synced across the Alexa app and the device manufacturer. This means that if you change the name of a device in the Alexa app, that new name will automatically be reflected in the manufacturer’s app where the device was initially configured, and vice versa.”
Well this is terrible news, I often name things differently in the Alexa app than the respective app for a reason and to do troubleshooting
this is is going to be messy.
Won’t be messy in the least. Amazon has been doing this for awhile now. At least my devices anyway.
I think now they mean that when you change the device name in Alexa that it will change it on the device manufacturers app. Say you have a D-Link plug named “garage” that you set in the D-Link app and you want to make the name “garage 2” in Alexa app, because you have a D-Link plug and a Wyze plug in the garage, then the Alexa app will notify D-Link and change the name to “garage 2” also in the D-Link app.
Alexa gets all of its names now from the device manufacturer side, now it will go both ways.
I hope they’ll let you turn off this option though.
The only feature I REALLY want from Alexa for years now is the ability to run and set active times for routines depending on sunrise/sunset. It’s beyond me they didn’t implement that by now.