Blurring boundaries are how Amazon manages their categories.
Blurring boundaries are how Amazon manages their categories.
At its most recent device launch, Amazon demonstrated three approaches to redefining tech category boundaries, each of which has implications for its marketplace prospects

Amazon doesn't develop phones or PCs, and its tablets lack popular apps. The company has built one of the most powerful consumer device ecosystems.

It has begun to incorporate its technology into our lives, starting with smart speakers and distribution of its own and other products.

The category-stretching products that have been included over the years include a wall clock that counts downAlexa reminders, and the recently revived echo auto. Big Tech companies are prone to duds and do-overs when trying to create new product categories.

Before the launch of the new device, the company introduced a new kind of home camera called Clips but discontinued it.

Three approaches to redefine tech category boundaries were demonstrated by Amazon at its most recent device launch.

The expansion is called Kindle Scribe.

last column 

In my last column, I wrote about a class of e-paper tablets that have extensive app compatibility. There are products that look like e-paper tablets but focus more on reading and taking notes.

The Kobo Elipsa was introduced last year, which extended the e-reader brand with a larger device and enhanced stylus function. Amazon has followed in the footsteps of its competitors and added a note-taking device to its e-reader line.

The expansion of the product line gives fans more reason to keep the device. The device chief at Amazon said his new use of the Scribe was a replacement for a legal pad.

Journaling on a device.

The best iPad apps can provide advanced note-taking features, but the Scribe and Elipsa do not. They are simpler to use, less expensive, and extend the appeal of e-readers to note-taking and annotations.

The expansion of the venerable e-reader's features should be popular thanks to the power of Amazon and the recognition of its brand.

The swap. The show is called the Echo Show. There are 15 and Fire TV Omni.

Amazon traded features on two of its larger and newer display-based devices as part of a product line expansion that included a twist.

The company marketed the newest member of the smart display line as keeping families organized. The company decided to add the Fire TV video portal from its televisions and streaming sticks to the device because of its suitability to highly viewable areas in the home.

Fire TV is on. The QLED Series has an Ambient Experience. The image is from Amazon.

Amazon is not the first company to bring a streaming portal-like experience to something other than a TV. The M7 and M8 PC monitors have a streaming portal. That wasn't as much of a stretch with their displays and resolution.

The Frame TV, which displays artwork when not streaming movies and shows, is one of the more limited ambient experiences that Samsung has. The TV resembles a much larger version of the show.

The added features will not change the TV category or the smart display category. The feature set borrowing by Amazon shows how the company can improve what had been a weak point of the Echo Show line in order to advance its ambient approach mission.

The first Wearable fitness tracker in the Halo product line was launched late last year. The product line has taken a different direction.

While many watches and other devices track sleep, Amazon doesn't use the wrist. The Halo Rise uses a mix of machine learning and ambient radar to detect the different phases of sleep. One of the main drawbacks of tracking sleep with Wearables is when you should charge them if they work all night.

Tracking sleep can provide insights into better health, but any device placed in the bedroom deserves extra scrutiny in regards to how it protects privacy. Amazon says it has several privacy-protecting advantages. Keeping cameras and microphones out of the bedroom and using a precise method to capture only the sleeping habits of people closest to the device are some of these.

The light in the halo rise is gradual to make waking up easier. It is not Amazon's first bedside device. The company has released smaller versions of the Echo Show, including versions with 5′′ and 8′′ displays that act as smart alarm clocks. A smart clock model that integrates with a number of digital assistants is offered by the company.

If you want to greet yourself in the morning with the full capabilities of an echo show and halo rise, things could get crowded on your nightstand. In its launch presentation, Amazon showed this combination. Why not include features from the Echo Show in the Halo Rise?

The data from the echo show and halo rise.

Pricing,Functionality, and target customer factors present challenges to that. The cost of the radar-equipped Halo Rise is much higher than the $35 that the Echo Show 5 typically commands. The Halo Rise is geared towards those who want to actively monitor their sleep activity and see enough value in that to pay for a service subscription eventually.

Amazon has taken steps to keep health information out of the knowledge graph. It is easier to convey that conceptually in separate devices than it is in a combined device.

The halo rise hasn't completely shut her out. You can pull up your sleep report on an Echo Show, or have anAlexa device play a wake-up song based on when you wake up. You can dim the lights if you hop into bed next to a Halo Rise. At some point, Amazon may be able to create a wake-up alarm ring to rule them all.

Rubin's review is neat.

Many companies and home workers are rethinking their setup because of the explosion in hybrid work. The value of dedicating a display to an app like Zoom or Teams has been shown by the constant barrage of video meetings.

Neat Frame 

Team Rooms and Zoom Rooms are run by the Neat Frame, a $2,500 dedicated video call device. You must restart if you want to switch between them.

The screen is fixed in portrait orientation, which brings theWebcam up to eye level. There is no need for a stand to achieve that. The company has enhanced with noise-canceling intelligence and has included an enhanced speaker and microphone for loud, clear audio.

The frame is neat. It was neat.

The Frame offers improved reliability, readiness, and security compared to using a PC. The product is ideal for one-on-one video calls and can be used in in-office phone booths for private calls.

It is not as well-suited for sharing screen content that has a landscape orientation. The native PC client is used to bring content from another PC, but it is a separate step.

Microsoft allows integration with the desktop version of Teams that enables this, however, using any Teams Rooms device like the Neat Frame requires an organizational account. Free accounts are not supported.

Accepting video input so it could serve as a second display would also make it more versatile for home users, as would the ability to pivot the device from landscape to portrait orientation.

The ergonomics of video calling are often awkward, but the Neat Frame brings a more natural feel to them. Most home users will be better served by a second screen.

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