Amazon Reportedly Cooking Up 'Vesta' Alexa Home Robot And Premium Echo Speaker
Jul 14 2019
A new report today by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says prototypes of the speaker are wider than the current Echo speaker, allowing the inclusion of additional components, including at least four tweeters. However, Apple's HomePod is not selling as expected, and that is probably why the company recently lowered its price.
As for the robot - which is being referred to as "Vesta" internally - sources claim that Amazon wanted to officially announce the smart home product before the end of 2019, but wasn't able to get it ready for mass production in time. Bloomberg says Amazon's shifted engineers from other projects to work on the robot.
A prototype of the robot, codenamed "Vesta", is about "waist-high", can be controlled by voice and is capable of moving around on its own using built-in cameras, according to the report. "In an internal demonstration, an engineer summoned the machine with his voice", Bloomberg reports. Google now has 31% of the market, while the rest have a joined 12%.
It's unclear what tasks the Amazon robot might perform.
An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment. In fact, it would appear most users who buy an Amazon Echo don't care about audio quality at all, as the company's most popular smart speaker is the Echo Dot.
Amazon is planning a refresh of its current Echo speaker coming with better sound quality and is said to be releasing the new version of that device sometime in 2020.
As of now there no further details about Amazon's home robot, but there is a chance the company will reveal some details of it in September, when it usually hosts a big product reveal event at its Seattle headquarters.
Amazon's line of Echo speakers so far is full of options for nearly every use-case you could think of.
Amazon has said nothing publicly about Vesta, but a year ago, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos posted an Instagram photo of an Echo speaker taped to a Roomba vacuum cleaner. Users can choose either Amazon's Alexa or the Google Assistant, making the Sonos One and Sonos Beam, the only smart speaker products to do so.
That new Echo is bigger than what we've now got in part because it needs space for more hardware. The speaker has lower distortion and enhanced bass. The company has in the past introduced a standalone subwoofer and connections to link the speakers to home stereo systems.