Amazon Echo Alexa 2018 event live blog | CNET

Amazon Echo Alexa 2018 event live blog

Amazon is announcing several new Echo and Alexa products at its event in Seattle. Follow our live coverage.

  • Ry Crist 9/20/2018 1:35:06 PM
    Morning everyone! I'm here in Seattle with my CNET News colleague Ben Fox Rubin -- we'll bring you the play-by-play from Amazon's surprise event starting at 1:00 PM EST. Media producer extraordinaire Tyler Lizenby will be snapping photos, too.
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 2:06:16 PM
    If you want to catch up on what could be announced today, check out Ry's story here: 

    Surprise! Amazon set to debut new devices today

    CNETAnother September, another surprise event from Amazon -- and it's kicking off in just a few hours.
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 2:09:03 PM
    If you hadn't heard about this event already, that was by design from Amazon. Just like their devices event last year, they kept a lid on the announcement of the event itself until today. Even with that additional secrecy, a few new leaks came out this week about what we could see today, including a new Echo subwoofer.
  • John Falcone 9/20/2018 2:23:30 PM
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 3:30:57 PM

    We are outside The Spheres at Amazon HQ. Will go inside for check in shortly.

  • Tyler Lizenby 9/20/2018 4:16:52 PM

    The Spheres.

  • Tyler Lizenby 9/20/2018 4:17:17 PM
  • Tyler Lizenby 9/20/2018 4:17:38 PM

    Another shot of The Spheres

  • Tyler Lizenby 9/20/2018 4:18:24 PM
  • Ry Crist 9/20/2018 4:40:15 PM
  • Ry Crist 9/20/2018 4:48:15 PM
    Folks still filing in (I was one of the lucky ones in the first elevator load up to the top). Should be underway here in the next fifteen minutes or so.
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 4:52:39 PM

    And we’re here. Event kicks off shortly.

  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 4:53:33 PM
    OK, so biggest hope for today's event: An Alexa-powered microwave, as rumored earlier this week.
  • Ry Crist 9/20/2018 4:55:46 PM
    Gotta wonder how GE feels about the idea of an Amazon microwave since it already has an Alexa microwave of its own...
     
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 4:57:36 PM
    Could ask the same thing to Sonos about an Alexa-powered subwoofer, too. (Another rumored product for today.)
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 4:58:49 PM
    ​Check out some photos from the event here:

    Amazon Echo event: Pictures from Seattle

    CNETAmazon is announcing new products in Seattle. Here's what things look like from the inside.
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 4:59:35 PM
    Last year's Amazon devices event included...I think SIX new devices. Could be even more today.
  • Ry Crist 9/20/2018 5:00:11 PM
    Let's make that the over/under.
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 5:00:48 PM
    Last year's story, btw: 

    New $100 Amazon Echo, $35 Echo Connect lead giant Alexa update

    CNETThe e-commerce giant reveals a newly designed Echo, the Echo Connect, Echo Plus, Echo Spot and even Echo Buttons.
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 5:02:05 PM
    So Ry, a cheaper Echo Dot? Expectations?
  • Tyler Lizenby 9/20/2018 5:02:05 PM
  • Tyler Lizenby 9/20/2018 5:03:36 PM
  • Ry Crist 9/20/2018 5:03:43 PM
    Think it's more likely that we see an Echo Dot with improved sound quality to better compete with the Google Home Mini. But don't rule out multiple new Echo Dots -- with the Echo Dot Kids Edition, Amazon has already shown that it's willing to diversify its most popular Alexa gadget. Possible we see a better-sounding Echo Dot AND another one that's just as cheap as possible.
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 5:04:23 PM
    Echo Dot XR...I'm into it.
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 5:05:04 PM
    David Limp, Amazon's devices head takes the stage.
  • Ry Crist 9/20/2018 5:05:11 PM
    And here we go. Dave Limp on stage. "We have a little under an hour today and maybe seventy new things to talk about."
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 5:06:01 PM
    Talking about all the new ways Alexa is getting smarter. Learning fantasy sports, for instance.
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 5:06:33 PM
    Mentions Alexa getting more opinionated, like preferring pilsner in US.
  • Tyler Lizenby 9/20/2018 5:07:14 PM
  • Tyler Lizenby 9/20/2018 5:07:39 PM
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 5:07:47 PM
    "She's more conscientious," like whispers to you if you do.
  • Ry Crist 9/20/2018 5:08:09 PM
    Very interesting that we're leading off with a look at where Alexa's personality is headed. Might suggest more of a software focus to today's event than people expected.
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 5:08:28 PM
    That capability is coming out in a few weeks, so you can get her to whisper if you're trying to get the baby to sleep.
  • Tyler Lizenby 9/20/2018 5:08:41 PM
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 5:09:15 PM
    "We're adding a lot of new features to make her short-term memory better." Making Alexa more "conversational," less "transactional."
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 5:09:54 PM
    Limp is showing off Alexa's follow-up mode, so you can ask additional questions without saying "Alexa" over and over again. It's a feature they rolled out already.
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 5:10:27 PM
    "And we've been making Alexa more approachable."
  • Tyler Lizenby 9/20/2018 5:10:32 PM
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 5:10:38 PM
    "We want to make it even more accessible as we go forward."
  • Ry Crist 9/20/2018 5:10:47 PM
    Mentioning "Tap-to-Alexa" and Alexa captions, two nice accessibility features on the Echo Show.
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 5:11:25 PM
    "We've also been thinking about how to make Alexa more natural." Alexa now includes over 50,000 skills, Amazon's word for voice apps.
  • Ben Fox Rubin 9/20/2018 5:12:39 PM
    Limp said it's been clunky to enable and use skills. Amazon working on making that easier by routing queries to the appropriate skill automatically. "We'll continue to do this."
  • Ry Crist 9/20/2018 5:12:50 PM
    Talking about Alexa's ability to figure out which skill to turn to when she doesn't know how to answer a question. Ask her how to get a stain out of a shirt, and she'll pull up the Tide skill. Limp says this feature is going to keep getting better.
  • Tyler Lizenby 9/20/2018 5:12:52 PM
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