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A new Echo, a drone, and everything else to expect from Amazon’s big hardware event

A new Echo, a drone, and everything else to expect from Amazon’s big hardware event


The fall hardware event gets underway September 28th

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Amazon’s 2021 fall hardware event is coming September 28th.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Amazon is holding its annual fall hardware event on Tuesday, September 28th, starting at 12PM ET / 9AM PT. It’s invite-only, and while Amazon said it would share news about “devices, features and services,” it’s not elaborating on which product lines might get updates or what new devices could be revealed.

If last year was any indication, expect to see a massive amount of hardware. Last year, Amazon unveiled a new spherical Echo with Zigbee support and “premium, adaptive sound” from Dolby, spherical Echo Dots (one which came with a clock), and the Echo Show 10 got a motorized base that turns its screen to face you while you’re interacting with it. It also added Netflix support.

Plus, Amazon unveiled its AWS-powered gaming service Luna along with a special Luna Controller. And Amazon’s Ring launched its Always Home Cam, a security drone for your house (which has yet to be released as of this writing). The Fire Stick and its Eero routers both got refreshes as well.

Now let’s talk about this year’s event. We have a few rumors and educated guesses about what Amazon has on tap.

Likely: An Alexa-powered soundbar, wall-mounted Echo, and an Echo Auto update

Amazon doesn’t typically see its products leak ahead of official announcements as much as some other companies (coughiPhonecough), but there’s been a fair amount of strong evidence about what may be coming next. Bloomberg had news that a wall-mounted Echo is likely. It would have a much larger 15-inch display that could be mounted on a wall or a stand and could be a control panel for other smart home devices.

An Alexa-powered soundbar with an integrated camera that can make video calls easier is also expected, per Bloomberg. And while there weren’t many details available, Bloomberg reported an update for the Echo Auto is also in the works (remember Echo Auto?). An image of what appeared to be the Ring-branded dash camera first announced by Ring last September showed up in June. The so-called Car Cam would have Alexa integration and be able to record video from the dashboard. If Amazon does plan to update Echo Auto, a Car Cam would make sense.

We’re also expecting to finally see the Always Home Cam drone Amazon showed off last year. Yet, that likely won’t be the only Ring hardware. Some other updates to the Ring product line seem likely as well.

Unlikely: The Vesta robot and the Seeker kids’ wearable

The long-rumored Echo home robot Vesta now seems unlikely to launch this year— if it ever does — even though it reportedly had 800 employees working on it and reached “late prototype stage.” Insider reported earlier this year that people involved with Vesta’s development were concerned it “could turn into another Fire Phone,” one of the biggest Amazon hardware misfires in, well, ever.

It also seems unlikely we’ll see Seeker, the rumored Alexa-enabled wearable for kids, which would come with GPS tracking. It was reportedly on the Amazon roadmap for 2020, but its fate is unclear at this point.

And after Amazon announced a new Paperwhite last week, it seems unlikely we’ll see more in the Kindle department at the event.

Uncertain: Alexa sleep apnea tracker?

There were reports earlier this year that Amazon was developing an Alexa-enabled device that could track and monitor sleep apnea. Whether we’ll see that at Tuesday’s event is anyone’s guess at this point.