Inside Amazon’s Alexa devices reveal event in Seattle

The Spheres in Seattle, site of today’s Amazon devices event. (GeekWire Photo / Kaitlyn Wang)

GeekWire is at Amazon HQ in Seattle this morning for an event where the tech giant is expected to announce a new line of devices powered by its digital brain Alexa.

Check back here for updates as Amazon makes its announcements, starting at 10 a.m. The presentation will be led by Dave Limp, Amazon senior vice president of devices and services.

The reveal lost some intrigue after CNBC reported Monday on a new slate of Alexa devices under development. Citing a document describing the plans, CNBC reports that Amazon is preparing to release eight new devices, possibly at today’s event, that can either easily connect to Alexa or already have the digital assistant built in, including a microwave oven, an amplifier, a receiver, a subwoofer and an in-car gadget.

In another hint of what may come out of today’s event, U.K.-based tech site Pocket Lint spotted pages for an Alexa Smart Plug and Echo Sub subwoofer on the tech giant’s U.K. site.

Early fall is the season for tech giants to show off their newest devices in anticipation of the busy holiday shopping season. Last week, Apple showed off the latest iPhone and Apple Watch versions. Microsoft has a devices event scheduled Oct. 2 in New York City, and a week later, Google is expected to unveil the next generation of its Pixel smartphone.

Amazon’s Echo smart speakers have led the way for years, but the market has become much more competitive recently. Amazon’s chief rival Google is gaining ground in the space, and a report out earlier this week found the Google Home Mini was the top selling smart speaker in the second quarter, though Amazon’s devices still outsold Google in aggregate.

It has been nearly a year since Amazon unveiled a major refresh of its Echo lineup, which included the introduction of the Echo Spot alarm-clock style device and the next-generation Echo speaker.

Amazon wants Alexa to be everywhere, and it’s using a combination of in-house and third-party devices to get there. Alexa now works on 20,000 devices, up from 4,000 in January, with new tie-ins coming all the time. Alexa’s skill level has increased as she’s spread to more devices, with the digital assistant now boasting more than 45,000 third-party capabilities.