Forget Amazon Prime Day. Amazon may have a much more interesting announcement up its sleeve in the near future, if a new report holds any water. According to Bloomberg today, Amazon has several new products in the works, all surrounding its Echo brand and Alexa technology, including a new version of its smart speaker and – wait for it – an Alexa home "robot" that could potentially follow you around your home.
Speaking to sources close to the matter and briefed on Amazon's plans, Bloomberg detailed what this robot could look like. Reportedly referred to as "Vesta" internally, it's said to be about waist-high on an adult of average height and ambulates with a combination of both HD cameras and wheels. According to Bloomberg, Amazon plans to integrate Alexa in much the same way as Amazon's other Echo products, and Vesta may even carry the Echo branding as well.
The robot would presumably be able to follow you around to assist whenever needed, but there's no word on what kind of functionality it might feature. It could fall in line with other consumer robotic assistants' skill sets, such as offering the day's weather and news, allowing users to control other Alexa-enabled devices in their home or potentially acting as a base of operations for anyone looking to connect with friends and family members by way of voice or video calls.
While many are used to having speakers in their home (that may or may not be recording everything you say), it's another affair entirely to invite a more humanoid robot into your home and have it follow you around. Shoppers may not warm to this immediately if Amazon does decide to go this route, but it certainly could make for some interesting spin-off products debuting.
According to the report, the robot isn't ready for mass production just yet; however, Amazon has been pulling engineers from other established projects so that they could work on bringing the robot to fruition. It's possible that we could very well see Amazon introducing the robot in the near future.