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, making your requests faster than ever before.
Another big addition 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.
The Echo will be available in three colors: charcoal, chalk, and steel blue, and it’ll ship on October 22nd. Preorders are already open over at Amazon’s website.