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Amazon reveals new Alexa and Fire TV features, new Ring devices

CES 2020 is upon us, and Amazon is ringing in the new year with a handful of new products and capabilities for many of its device categories, including Alexa in cars, Fire TV, and Ring.

Starting with automotive integrations, Amazon is announcing new partnerships with carmakers, with Lamborghini adding Alexa integration into its Huracan Evo range, and Rivian - the electric car startup that's partly backed by Amazon - also building the assistant into its upcoming R1S and R1T vehicles. If you don't want to buy a new car, Amazon is bringing the Echo Auto, first launched in late 2018, to more countries starting January 15, with broader expansion throughout the year. There are also new Alexa-enabled devices for cars on the way from companies like JVC Kenwood, iOttie, Pioneer, and more.

Finally, to be more useful for drivers, Alexa is getting the ability to pay for gas. Simply say "Alexa, pay for gas", and you'll be able to buy fuel from over 11,500 Exxon and Mobil stations. Amazon has also been working with partners to make it easier to integrate Alexa into cars, as well as working on services powered by AWS.

Transitioning into Fire TV news, Alexa is also working with automobile manufacturers to bring the entertainment platform to vehicles, starting with partnerships with Fiat Chrysler and BMW. Naturally, this will offer many of the features you'd expect from Fire TV, with hands-free voice controls or touch interaction, and features like Fire TV Recast, offline playback, and more.

That's not all that's new with Fire TV, with Amazon introducing Fire TV for soundbars, following the introduction of the Nebula Soundbar - Fire TV Edition last year. TCL is launching the Alto 8+ soundbar with Fire TV built-in today in the U.S. and Canada, and it'll be launching the TS8011 in other countries later this year. Amazon says it's working with other partners to bring Fire TV soundbars to market, and it's also working to add features like Dolby Atmos, far-field voice controls, and more.

Moreover, Amazon is launching Fire TV for Operators, making it possible for network operators to bring Fire TV devices to consumers, following successful experiments with Tata Sky in India and Verizon in the United States. The company is also expanding its Certified Solutions Providers, so that manufacturers can work with Amazon partners to build Fire TV devices more easily around the world.

Finally, for smart home enthusiasts, there are some new devices from Ring. First, there are two new lightbulbs, the A19 Smart LED Bulb and the PAR38 Smart LED Bulb. The former is meant for indoors or otherwise covered areas, while the latter can be installed anywhere. Using the Ring Bridge, users can control the lights through the Ring app, with the ability to set brightness and schedules.

There are also three new solar-powered lights, the Solar Floodlight, Steplight, and Pathlight, which are meant for large spaces, paths, and stairs, respectively. They're all solar-powered so you don't have to worry about wiring, and they detect motion, so they won't be on when they're not needed. All the lights will launch on April 1.

Moving away from lights, the Ring Access Controller Pro is a new device that lets users remotely control electric gates from their device. The device can be paired with a Rind Video Doorbell or Ring Cam to let users see who is at their gate and open them all from their phones. There are both Ethernet and Cellular versions, starting at $299.99. The Cellular version can be bundled with a Stick-Up Cam Battery for $399. The Access Controller Pro is available right now.

Finally, Ring is launching the X Line, which bundles extended warranty and security plans with Ring Video Doorbells and Security Cams. These are aimed at professional installation vendors, from which consumers can then buy these integrated solutions.

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