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Amazon refreshes the Echo Dots with a clock and a ball-shaped design

At its hardware event today, Amazon announced a new look and fresh features for its Echo Dot smart speakers. Among the highlights are the ball-shaped design for the refreshed Echo Dot and a new Echo Dot with clock.

The changes mark a huge departure from the Dot's original puck-shaped design, although the new-generation smart speakers still retain the spherical design and fabric finish of the Echo. The new smart speaker features a 1.6-inch, front-firing speaker that's powered by Amazon’s first-generation AZ1 Neural Edge processor incorporating machine learning applications. The processor boasts of an all-neural speech recognition model that Amazon says "will process speech faster, making Alexa even more responsive."

Amazon also redesigned the Echo Dot Kids Edition with new Panda and Tiger designs and animal-themed alarms. It comes with a one-year subscription of Amazon Kids+, with access to thousands of hours of children-oriented Audible books, interactive games, and educational skills. The new Dot Kids Edition will also allow parents to create an Alexa voice profile for their kids, featuring kid-friendly responses, games, skills, music, and more.

The redesigned Dot smart speakers will be available in Charcoal, Glacier White, and Twilight Blue color options. The Dot is priced at $49.99, available for pre-order today and will ship later this year. The one with clock option is priced a bit higher at $59.99. In addition, the Dot Kids Edition is available for pre-order today at $59.99, with shipping scheduled for later this year.

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