Every fall, Amazon holds its annual Devices and Services event, where it rolls out the latest Alexa-enabled devices, as well as new features for its voice assistant. Traditionally, this has meant new Echo speakers as well as devices from Amazon-owned companies, such as Ring and Eero. And, every now and then, Amazon will announce something really wacky, like a flying indoor security camera drone or a robot that will patrol your house.
The event will be held on September 20; in a first, it will not be at Amazon's Seattle headquarters, but rather at its HQ2 in Arlington, VA. And, it looks like it will be the last Amazon event headed by Dave Limp, who has run Amazon's Alexa division for years; Limp is retiring, and will be replaced by Microsoft's Panos Panay, according to Bloomberg.
Tom's Guide will be on the ground covering the event, but in advance, we're going to make a few educated guesses as to what we might see at the event.
Amazon Devices & Services Event 2023: Date and time
This year, the Amazon Devices and Services event will start at 11 a.m. ET on September 20. In prior years, it began an hour later, but that was because the event took place on the west coast at Amazon's Seattle headquarters. This year, it's being held on the east coast, so those in attendance don't have to wake up as early.
The event itself usually lasts about an hour.
Amazon Devices & Services Event 2023: Can I watch it?
Unlike many of its competitors who live-stream their events, the Amazon event is invite-only. However, Tom's Guide will be live-blogging the event, so stay tuned for our coverage.
Amazon Devices & Services Event 2023: What devices to expect
Unlike an Apple event, where the company will announce a handful of products, Amazon typically will debut upwards of a dozen devices, all packed into a tight presentation.
At last year's Amazon event, the retail giant announced the Kindle Scribe, Halo Rise, the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED, new Blink and Ring security cameras, new Eero internet capabilities, an updated Echo Auto, refreshes for the Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock, a new Fire TV Cube and a major update for the Amazon Echo Show 15.
This year could be a bit more of a subdued affair, as Amazon laid off nearly 2,000 people from its devices and services division earlier this year. That's the portion of the company behind its smart speakers and Alexa.
Based on what we know from past events, as well as our familiarity with Amazon's lineup, here's what we think we'll see this year.
Amazon Echo speakers
Recently, Amazon has been updating its flagship smart speakers every other year; last year, it updated the Echo Dot and the Echo Dot with Clock, so this time around, we're expecting the larger Amazon Echo to be updated, as it's been around since 2020.
We imagine that the audio quality might get a slight boost, but as it already has a built-in Eero repeater and can act as a Matter hub, we're not sure what other improvements Amazon might add. One thing we'd like to see is an Amazon Echo with Clock, as the Echo Dot with Clock is one of our favorite smart speakers.
A new Fire TV stick
Amazon hasn't updated its streaming sticks since 2021: The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Stick Lite, and Fire TV Stick are all at least two years old — and the Fire TV Stick 4K Max seems to have been discontinued — so it's a strong bet that Amazon is going to release at least one new model this year. There's also a chance that we might see a new TV with Fire TV built in, such as one of its flagship Omni TVs.
Amazon Echo Show 8
Another one of Amazon's products that's a bit long in the tooth, the current Echo Show 8 came out in 2021. While it supports Matter, it does not have Eero mesh networking support. That would be a pretty small update, though.
Amazon discontinued its smallest smart display, the Echo Show 5, so we'd be surprised if the company revived it now.
Amazon Echo Buds with Active Noise Cancellation
Earlier this year, Amazon released the $49 Amazon Echo Buds, but it's been two years since the company updated its Echo Buds 2, earbuds with active noise cancellation. Those buds cost just $120 at launch — far less than many of the best wireless earbuds — yet delivered surprisingly good ANC. If Amazon does launch a new version, we hope they'll have better battery life this time around.
While there's been a lot of development around AI, Amazon, Apple and Google haven't really touted or implemented new AI models into their voice assistants. If Amazon were to do this with Alexa, it would be a major shift for the company. However, given how use of voice assistants has plateaued — most only use it for turning on smart home devices, listening to music, setting timers, and looking up the weather — there may not be a huge appetite for pouring more resources into Alexa.
Eero Wi-Fi routers
Along with Ring and Blink, Amazon also owns Eero, which makes one of the best mesh routers. However, the last router that the company introduced was the Eero Pro 6e, which came out in 2022. Given that we're starting to see the emergence of Wi-Fi 7 routers, it wouldn't be out of order to see Amazon announce a similar device.
Something really wacky
It doesn't happen often, but Amazon occasionally unveils some very random product, not all of which make it to market. In 2019, it was an Alexa-compatible microwave; in 2021, there was the Ring Always Home Cam, a flying indoor drone that will respond to the sound of glass breaking or some other event in your home, and then zoom over to see what the commotion is about.
Amazon also introduced the Amazon Astro, a small robot that patrols your home, and has a periscope-like camera that rises a few feet out of its top. The Astro has a large tablet for a front screen, so it can be used for video calls, too. Both the Always Home Cam and the Astro are part of Amazon's Day 1 Edition program, meaning you can only get the products via invite.
This is just a smattering of what we think we'll see at Amazon's event; it's more than likely there could also be a new Kindle tablet, a Fire tablet, or something else from Ring or Blink, too. We'll know a lot more in just a few days, so be on the lookout for our live blog of the event.