Rumor: Amazon releasing new hardware as soon as Tuesday

Rumor: Amazon releasing new  hardware as soon as Tuesday

We’ve talked before about a possible

Amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*).

with a screen.

Today, there is a flurry of rumors about Amazon introducing a new device…as soon as tomorrow local time (Tuesday, May 9th).

My sense on this is that this could really happen…a leak before a release is not unprecedented.

The rumors (and there are more than one) include that it will be capable of making phone calls.

We need to know more about the implementation, but there are some interesting possibilities.

One obvious question: does it need to use your phone?

If it’s working over wi-fi, no. It could use VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). That doesn’t mean it’s free, necessarily.

If it is using your phone, then it wouldn’t cost any more to you.

So, why would somebody need this? What’s the advantage over a tablet or laptop?

Alexa is about voice, so you’d have to guess that would be part of it. “Alexa, call my veterinarian’s office”. How is that better than your phone?

I would use it, sure. I don’t walk around my house with my phone, although many people do. I could do a lot of what I do with our Echos on my phone…hey, I can use Alexa on my phone, for that matter (using the Amazon shopping app).

It’s just easier to just “talk to the air” and have stuff happen. 🙂

The biggest advantage for me would be for it to a super speakerphone…making calls is one thing, but receiving them and having the voice heard easily by multiple people in the room…that’s another whole level.

None of that requires a screen.

The screen could do videocalls…that might be nice.

The screen, though, could also show us information.

Alexa currently sends “cards” to my phone and can send them to a tablet…it can show information on our Fire TVs, too.

The screen might be a better form factor…larger, without being too large.

My guess is that the device will also have a camera. That camera could be for videocalls…but it could also be for augmented reality. 🙂 I know I’ve been harping on that for Amazon, and I wouldn’t really expect it at launch, but it could happen in the not too distant future.

For example, it could do a “magic mirror” thing, like the Face app or PhotoLab. It could morph you into an older version of yourself, or give you cat ears.

It could show you an Amazon product and combine it with your actual room. That would get us towards my 2016 April Fool’s Day post:

AFD News: Amazon introduces ‘Narcissus’, augmented reality mirror


If we are getting a hardware announcement, we could see some other changes…I have to believe that there is a water-resistant Kindle in our future. 🙂

Here’s a search that will get you the rumors…I’ll be interested to see what happens, if anything, in the next few days.

Update: thanks to regular reader alanchurch for a comment on this post which resulted in a change.

My current Amazon Giveaway

Star Wars Day through 40 years of Star Wars!
Giveaway by Bufo Calvin
  • Winner:Randomly selected after Giveaway has ended, up to 1 winners.
  • Requirements for participation:
    • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
    • Follow @TMCGTT on twitter
    • 18+ years of age (or legal age)


Start:May 4, 2017 6:32 AM PDT
End:Jun 3, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

It’s going on that long in part so that it covers the actual 40th anniversary of Star Wars (of the release in the USA) on May 25th 2017. Also, this book, which has good reviews and is new, is $14.99 in the Kindle edition…which is a lot for me for a giveaway. 🙂

Good luck, and may the Force be with you!

Congratulations to Patty B, who won a copy of my sibling’s mystery

One Murder More (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

in the giveaway which finished yesterday!

9 Responses to “Rumor: Amazon releasing new hardware as soon as Tuesday”

  1. Edward Boyhan Says:

    Funnily enough, I’m sitting in the Orlando airport on my way to Seattle Seattle for MS,s Build conference where MS will be making some announcements of its own I wonder if they hope to steal some thunder 🙄

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      Now that we see the product, I do think a Cortana-powered speaker without a screen won’t make as much of a splash, since it will be seen as a generation behind…

      Cortana is the digital assistant of the big four (Siri, OK Google, Cortana, and Alexa) which I think understands what I want the best…but I don’t use it the most.

  2. alanchurch Says:

    “there are a flurry of rumors about ”
    No offense-I keep seeing this kind of error. It should be “is”. No need to publish this if you would rather not.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, alanchurch!

      None taken! I would never claim to be error free (that in itself would be an error), and this is exactly the sort of respectful contradiction I love to see!

      In this case, I actually debated it with myself…not over its correctness, but over its appropriateness. I have taught a four hour class on grammar (I would say I taught it reasonably well), and that included subject/verb agreement. That can be a bit more tricky than it seems at first, and I was teaching business professionals. For example, let’s say that either the doctor or the nurses will do something. Is it “…the doctor or the nurses is…” or “…the nurses or the doctor are…”? The answer, it is neither. 😉 The standard answer is that the verb agreement in the case of “nor” or “or” when one noun is plural and the other is singular should agree with whichever one is closer to the verb. So, “…the doctor or the nurses are…” or “…the nurses or the doctor is…”.

      However, the latter “sounds funny” to many people, and I take that into account.

      I don’t normally refer to “football stadia” or “aquaria” in conversation. 🙂 I think of the plural of “formula” as “formulae”, and I will use that where the audience is likely to be comfortable with math…but I have jokingly “corrected” myself in front of students to make them feel comfortable with me (pointing out that I am aware of what is geeky, and can “translate” it for them).

      It does seem incorrect to me when people use “decimate” to mean “nearly destroyed”, when it actually means reduced by ten percent…but that is how the word has evolved over time.

      My linguist child convinced me that if someone is able to communicate the meaning, that’s what is important; you can’t make language static and subject to litigation, although many have tried. If that could be done, Americans would still be writing “colour”. There is quite the political story behind that, but I’ve addressed that before.

      I started to write “flurry is”, but that felt like it would be overly geeky. 🙂 I think I also hadn’t used the intensifier at first, writing, “There are rumors…” and that probably influenced what, in retrospect, was perhaps not the best decision. I discussed it with my Significant Other this morning, and I’ll make the change you suggest. I asked my SO if most people would say, “A bunch of people are outside…” or “A bunch of people is outside…” and the latter was deemed more common. 🙂

      Again, this is exactly the sort of feedback I like getting, and I appreciate you taking the time and making the effort to give it to me!

      • Lady Galaxy Says:

        I love words and etymology. I’m such a geek that I actually loved studying grammar when I was in HS, partly why I became an English teacher. Loving to read and write was the other part. You can imagine my shock when I started teaching Grammar and Composition to 10th graders from the old, blue Warriners books and discovered that it wasn’t everybody’s favorite subject. I’m currently reading and enjoying “Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries.” Perhaps I should have been a lexicographer instead of a teacher.

        You wrote, “Again, this is exactly the sort of feedback I like getting, and I appreciate you taking the time and making the effort to give it to me!”

        In that case, I’ll take out my purple gel pen and correct that to “I appreciate your taking the time and making the effort.” “Taking the time” and “making the effort” are gerund phrases, nouns dressed up in verb clothing. Just as one would use a possessive before the nouns “time and effort” one would use a possessive in front of the gerunds. “I appreciate your time and effort.” I suspect that this distinction is on its way out. Language is fluid.

        ::::::::::Putting purple gel pen back into my plastic pencil case with the white multiplication table slide and stumbling off of my grammar police platform. Can you believe there are kids out there who actually like math? 😉

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Lady!

        “Purple…people who need purple…are the luckiest people in the world!” 😉

        Hm. That’s an interesting one, and I’ll have to consider it! I would have thought I was using it as a verb, not in the sense of a “taking” being an “undertaking”. Would you say, “I appreciate you running down to the store?” What I appreciate is the action, with “the time” being the object, but you may certainly be right. While I enjoy language, and have read more than most concerning it, my intuition is that you are more knowledgeable on the subject.

        I was reasonably good at math, but not in a way that the teachers liked. I was just talking about that this morning. Once, I was given a test, which it was anticipated would take, oh, more than thirty minutes. I submitted it in about five minutes, and all of the answers were correct. The teacher said, “You didn’t show your work.” I said, “I didn’t do any…I just knew the answers.” That seemed…unlikely to the teacher. I said, “How do you know the square root of sixteen is four? You just know it…you wouldn’t have any work to show. I know what rules are involved: I’d be happy to write those on the sheet for you.” I forget exactly what the questions were, but let’s say long division was involved. I asked the teacher to give me another question. The teacher said something like, “20,000 divided by 400.” I immediately replied, “50”. I was given credit on the test, but the teacher still wasn’t pleased with my performance. 🙂

        I found an online debate on this:

      • alanchurch Says:

        Bufo and lady galaxy, I appreciate your knowledge about language. I know more than most about it but much less than you.

  3. alanchurch Says:

    More importantly, I don’t think I’ve said before that I really like your blog . And you.

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