Last night, Amazon hosted its fall event and announced several new devices and services – from an early look into the future of Alexa powered by generative AI to simplified smart home device management, safety features, accessibility improvements and more.
Some of these updated, and one new device is being released in New Zealand. The new Fire TV Stick 4K Max is the first streaming media player to come with the Fire TV Ambient Experience and features an upgraded 2.0GHz quad-core processor, making it Amazon’s smartest and most powerful streaming stick yet.
The Fire TV Stick 4K Max supports Wi-Fi 6E, meaning customers with a compatible router can enjoy the smoothest streaming experience with lower latency, faster speeds, and less interference from other Wi-Fi-enabled devices in the home.
This new streaming device comes with Ambient Experience, transforming the TV into a beautiful, always-smart display. When activated, blank TV screens can be transformed into art from a collection of over 2,000 free artworks or display personal photos, including from renowned Indigenous Australian artist Biddee Baadjo and Australian contemporary artist Nicole Blake.
The Ambient Experience also allows users to display helpful information by syncing calendars and reminders, leaving sticky notes for family members, or playing audio from Amazon Music or Spotify.
The Fire TV Stick 4K Max retails for NZ$ 129 and is available for pre-order today.
Also coming to New Zealand is the Top Connections widget feature on Echo Show 15, which makes it even easier for customers to connect with those that matter most. The widget allows users to see their favourite contacts and the most frequently used devices within the household, enabling them to initiate a call or drop-in with a single tap quickly.
Top Connections is available on the Echo Show 15 and on the Echo Show 5, 8, and 10 models in the coming months.
Echo Show 8 users will have access to a new feature called Adaptive Content, a fresh home screen experience that uses on-device computer vision technology to adjust on-screen content based on a customer’s proximity to the device. This new feature allows a customer to view content easily from across a room, such as a large clock display, with the screen automatically transitioning to a more detailed view as they approach the device.
Adaptive content will be available in Australia on Echo Show 8 (2nd generation) next month and will roll out to other Echo Show devices next year.
In addition to the local arrivals, Amazon gave an early look into the future of Alexa—an even smarter and more conversational Alexa—powered by generative AI. It’s based on a new large language model that’s been custom-built and optimised for voice interactions, getting real-time news and information, efficient smart home control and maximising their home entertainment.