Amazon's 2022 Echo and Ring Launch Event: How to Get All the Details Live - CNET

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Sarah Tew/CNET

The economy may be struggling, with consumer confidence at its lowest point in years, but that hasn't stopped the tech industry from preparing for the holiday shopping season with a torrent of new product releases.

In August, Samsung showed off its Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 folding phones. Earlier this month, Apple announced its iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro and Apple Watch Ultra. Chipmaker Nvidia has shown off a new series of graphics cards, the $1,599 RTX 4090 and $899 RTX 4080. And Google and Microsoft are also expected to hold events on Oct. 6 and Oct. 12, respectively.

On Wednesday, Amazon will hold its big product event for the year, during which we usually get upgrades to popular devices like the Echo Dot, which normally starts at $50 but is regularly on sale for as little as $19. There's also Amazon's Ring home security subsidiary

But Amazon is also known for throwing wacky ideas at the wall to see what sticks, like adding Alexa smarts to a microwave or an analog clock. Last year, the company unveiled the Amazon Glow for kids and the Halo View fitness tracker. It also showed off the Ring Alarm Pro home security system and a flying Always Home Cam drone to watch your home when you're away. We also got a look at Astro, Amazon's ambitious robot assistant, which is still in limited sales and testing.

Amazon has a lot planned for the next few months. In addition to this hardware and services event, the company will hold its second Prime Day, known as the Prime Early Access Sale, next month. Part of the point of this event is to drum up attention for that big shopping day. That rumored sale would be in addition to Amazon's usual Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals ahead of the holidays. Amazon has also been expanding its Prime video service with live events like NFL Thursday Night Football games.

When

Amazon's event is scheduled to start Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 9 a.m. PT / noon ET / 5 p.m. BST / Sept. 29 at 2 a.m. AEST. (Here's a helpful time zone converter so you can find out when the event will be in your area.)

Where

Amazon's event will be invite-only for the press and won't be streamed publicly like some other companies' events are. But we'll be covering everything here on CNET with a live blog, as well as news stories, analysis and reviews you can get only from us. So make sure to follow along.

Matter incoming

By Ry Crist

Apple Home Matter smart controls

Will we hear anything about Matter?

Screenshot/CNET

One of the big questions as we gear up for Amazon's fall event is whether or not we'll hear any new details about Matter, the universal smart home standard that's set to launch sometime by the end of this year. Sources I've spoken with suggest that Matter's true coming-out party won't be until early 2023, when we're sure to see plenty of new Matter-ready devices at CES – but you can be sure that there's a lot going on behind the scenes at Amazon, Apple, Google and the multitude of other brands throwing their weight behind the standard.

Ring's latest pitch

By Ry Crist

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Ring is in the process re-positioning itself

Ring

Apart from its doorbells and drone cameras, Ring has put a lot of effort into re-positioning itself as a home security provider in recent years, with multiple versions of the Ring Alarm security system up for sale and plenty of synergistic integrations with Echo speakers and other Alexa-friendly devices. It's a competitive category where Amazon might still see plenty of potential for growth, so it'll be interesting to hear Ring's latest pitch.

What's next for Ring?

By Ry Crist

ring

What's next?

Amazon

What's next for the Amazon-owned video doorbell brand? We'll find out Wednesday at Amazon's fall hardware and services event, where it's a very safe bet that we'll be hearing about new devices for the Ring lineup. Two years ago, the brand unveiled its flying, autonomous Always Home Cam, and last year, Amazon opened the device up for pre-order invitations. It's still an invitation-only gadget to this day, so I'll be curious to see if that changes, or if Ring has any new plans for it moving forward.

Amazon could tie in Echo, Fire TV with big media properties

By Joan E. Solsman

Collage of Amazon devices including Fire TV Stick, Echo Show 5, Amazon Echo Dot and Blink Outdoor security cameras
CNET

Amazon invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Lord of the Rings. The NFL rights cost it billions. Since both kicked off this fall, Amazon has indicated that they've been a boon for Prime subscriptions, especially Thursday Night Football. Amazon may want to try leveraging these mega-properties to have more presence on the devices it's sure to show off Wednesday, even if it's just cameos.

Look for football and elves amid device announcements

By Joan E. Solsman

 The Rings of Power on TV
James Martin/CNET

Elves versus orcs, anyone? Dolphins versus Bengals? Devices usually get the main spotlight at Amazon's fall event, but right now Amazon is in the thick of its two most ambitious video projects ever, so I'll be keeping my eyes out for nuggets about the Lord of the Rings prequel series The Rings of Power and NFL Thursday Night Football. 

Let's see more mid-range Fire TVs

By David Katzmaier

Fire TV Cube needs a refresh

By David Katzmaier

Amazon Fire TV Cube
Amazon

It's been a couple of years since Amazon updated its Fire TV Cube, a $120 device that's sort of a mash-up of Echo speaker, 4K HDR streaming video player and universal remote. I liked it when I reviewed the original back in 2018, when the ability to turn on your TV via voice seemed like magic. I'd like to see an update that costs less and adds easier, faster control of devices, perhaps aided by an on-screen display, similar to something like Caavo.

Updated Fire TV hardware expected

By David Katzmaier

A Fire TV Stick 4K Max and a Fire TV Cube are displayed against a purple background.

We could see a refresh of some of these existing Fire TV devices. 

Photos by Amazon; illustration by CNET

Amazon's Fire TV streaming system could certainly get some updated hardware, perhaps starting with the cheapest and most popular product, the Fire TV Stick. Currently (and confusingly) the company sells two non-4K versions, one for $30 called the Fire TV Stick Lite and one for $40 called the Fire TV Stick. The only difference is that the more expensive one has buttons on the remote to control TV volume and power, a very useful feature. I'd like to see a single $30 stick that offered that feature, much like the new Chromecast with Google TV HD.

Amazon feed won't be public

By Roger Cheng

Unlike Apple and Samsung, Amazon won't be making its event available for public viewing, so if you want the most up-to-date information, this live blog is going to be your main source. Stick around for the analysis, reviews and in-depth coverage of all things Amazon. 

Welcome to our live blog!

By Ian Sherr

A black Amazon Echo smart speaker against a yellow background
Photo by Amazon; illustration by CNET

Hello, everyone! Our live blog of Amazon's 2022 product event is kicking off. What's that you say? "It's not Wednesday yet"? Well, not to worry. 

For the next day, we're going to be continually updating this live blog with everything you need to know about what Amazon has been doing with its tablets, robots, drones, wireless routers, home cameras, video doorbells, Alexa gadgets and everything else.

When the event officially kicks off at 9 a.m. PT Wednesday, we'll continue updating with up-to-the-minute announcements, product images and everything else you could need.

Thanks for following along!

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