It’s been an incredibly busy week for Amazon’s popular Echo smart speaker. Amazon announced a swathe of new devices during an online event, including a totally refreshed Echo which gets a ball-shaped design and powerful audio upgrades. Along with that, there’s also a rebooted Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock which both receive that more curvaceous design. Another product to be unveiled was the Echo Show 10, which has been redesigned so that the touchscreen display now follows you around the room as you move about.
Along with better sound (and better looks), Amazon is making some big claims about its plans to reduce its impact on the environment. The company also announced some very good news for anyone who already owns an Echo.
Every one of the new devices listed above will ship with a new Low Power Mode which is enabled automatically to reduce the amount of energy these products are drawing from the mains when they’re left plugged in around your home. And Amazon has also confirmed that many of its previously released products will also get this important upgrade in the coming months.
You won’t have to make any changes yourself. Instead, when the update becomes available, Alexa will automatically gain this new ability. If you have a smart metre installed in your home, you might notice a drop in the amount of energy being taken from the grid as all of your smart home kit automatically goes to sleep to preserve power.
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Amazon is also introducing a new energy dashboard that will allow customers in the US to understand the energy consumption of compatible Echo and Alexa-connected smart home devices in the Alexa app. Customers can also enable Alexa to help them conserve energy.
For example, if Alexa has a Hunch that a customer is away and forgot to turn off a light, Alexa can automatically turn it off—helping you save energy without even thinking about it. You can also learn about Alexa Routines that might save energy—like turning the kitchen light off after midnight.
Explaining more, Amazon said: “We are working hard to make our devices energy efficient because it’s good for the planet and our customers.
That’s why we’ve added a Low Power Mode feature to all new wall-powered Echo and Fire TV devices that reduces their lifetime energy consumption by using less power during periods of inactivity. We’ll also be rolling out free over-the-air updates to bring Low Power Mode to additional devices already in customers’ homes.”
Along with Low Power Mode, all of Amazon’s new 2020 speakers will now be made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled fabric, 100 percent recycled die-cast aluminium, and 30-50 percent post-consumer recycled plastic.
Amazon also says that it is building new wind and solar farms to produce clean energy equivalent to the electricity used by every customer’s Echo device. It says it’s the first major technology manufacturer to look to reduce the carbon footprint of building the device – as well as the energy used throughout its lifetime when in use at your home. Amazon also offers trade-in and recycling options when you’re finished with an Echo, Fire TV or Kindle.
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