Amazon is apparently planning to release new Alexa-powered devices, including a microwave, an "in-car gadget", and a range of hi-fi equipment before the end of 2018.
According to a report from CNBC, there will be eight new voice-controlled devices before the end of the year with all of them containing Amazon Alexa in some form, meaning they could connect to other Alexa-enabled speakers or Amazon's Prime services
As well as a microwave and the in-car gadget, the new product line up is thought to include an amplifier, receiver, and subwoofer. These inclusions are the most likely, with Amazon looking to compete against Sonos' wireless speaker line-up (who already have a wireless amplifier for connecting wired speakers) and the Siri-enabled Apple HomePod.
Should we expect to see Amazon try to make more home devices smart? Other tech companies, such as LG and Samsung, are taking steps towards an internet-connected kitchen, but so far the results have been mixed. Rumors of new products such as these indicate Amazon is looking to get a greater foothold in the smart home sphere, possibly spinning out the Alexa brand into a range of devices of its own.
An in-car device would certainly not be new. Garmin already partnered with Amazon to bring out an Alexa-enabled in-car speaker called the Garmin Speak, complete with a little OLED display for driving instructions. There are also products such as the Roav Viva from Anker, an Alexa device which plugs into the 12-volt socket and plays music through the car's Bluetooth-enabled speaker system.
Each one of these new products could open up fresh revenue streams for Amazon. It also combats the inherent limitation of any smart speaker setup in that eventually you run out of rooms to put new speakers in.
Much like Sonos' partnership with IKEA, the more places Amazon can place its Alexa AI the better it is for the company. And with more products in the Amazon ecosystem, the more likely people are to sign up with Amazon Prime, too. Of course, there are rumours that Amazon is also building robots for the home.