Amazon redesigns the Echo with a new spherical design and a custom machine learning processor

Amazon redesigns the Echo with a new spherical design and a custom machine learning processor

Amazon has announced the fourth-generation version of its main Echo smart speaker, bringing a new spherical design and better sound performance. But the biggest change is a new, on-device speech recognition module that will locally process your audio on the Echo itself, making your requests faster than ever before.

One of the biggest additions to the new Echo is what Amazon’s calling the AZ1 Neural Edge silicon module, which will process the audio of your voice requests using local machine learning speech recognition algorithms before sending the command to the cloud. The process promises to save hundreds of milliseconds in response time for your Echo.

Amazon says that the new Echo will combine the features from both the third-gen Echo and the Echo Plus, and will feature a built-in Zigbee smart home hub, in addition to working with Amazon Sidewalk, the company’s local networking system.

It’ll be available in three colors: Charcoal, Chalk, and Steel Blue.

Developing. Check out our live blog for more news from the Amazon event as it happens.

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