Amazon AMZN is doubling down on its Alexa-powered devices, with plans to release at least 8 new voice-controlled hardware devices before the end of the year, CNBC has learned. Those potential devices include everything from a microwave oven to an in-car gadget to a subwoofer, and some will come with Amazon's voice assistant built-in. The devices are apparently coming before the end of 2018 with an announcement planned for later this month, according to internal documents.
If the new devices are made and sold by Amazon, they would be in direct competition with similar devices made by Sonos and Garmin. All devices will be Alexa-enabled, and some will also have Alexa built in. The microwave can make Alexa a key part of the kitchen.
However, Amazon's Alexa software has a wider range of skills on offer that enable it to link up with and control more third-party devices around the home. Audi, one of the popular automobile firms has recently took the wraps off its first ever electric vehicle that supports Amazon Alexa voice commands. Sonos has subwoofers and amplifiers that work with Alexa, while GE's microwaves support the assistant. Amazon also earlier this year bought the smart doorbell maker Ring.
All of which underscores how the company, pun very much intended, is certainly at home sniffing out opportunities wherever it can to put new Alexa-powered gadgets in the hands of consumers.
Amazon isn't the only company trying to spread its digital assistant.
Amazon declined to comment to CNBC regarding the report. A few months ago, it partnered with home builder Lennar to include two Echo speakers in certain new homes and provide visits by Amazon technicians.
'We want customers to be able to use Alexa wherever they are, ' Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in the firm's most recent earnings report.
Amazon doesn't disclose sales numbers for the Echo, but has previously said "tens of millions" of Alexa-enabled devices sold worldwide.