Amazon's big event: 5 game-changing announcements and highlights

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Microsoft is yet to reveal a rollout schedule for the new Skype calling support feature for Alexa Inc. unveiled its vision for smart homes powered by the Alexa voice assistant, with a dizzying array of new gadgets and features for nearly every room in the house-from a microwave oven to a security camera and wall clock.

From the kitchen to the vehicle, Amazon on Thursday sought to make its Alexa digital assistant and online services a bigger part of people's lives with an array of new products and partnerships. This version of the Echo Plus has a new look, Dolby play 360-degree audio, and a temperature sensor.

Echo Show can be used to make video calls, monitor smart cameras and more.

The central building block to smart homes of the future will be affordable smart gadgets and appliances -- that's exactly what Amazon appeared to be aiming at by launching 15 new smart home products in a matter of 90 minutes.

This is Amazon Echo Sub, a sign that Amazon is starting to get serious about the sound quality of its Echo devices. The Echo Wall Clock means you won't have to worry about the switch to daylight savings time again, Limp said. It wants to be in your microwave, your clock, your vehicle, and even in your kitchen. This device also works with Auto Popcorn Replenishment through Amazon Dash Replenishment technology. Amazon's Smart Plug simply, er, plugs into any existing outlet and connects to a Wi-Fi network.

For all of their connections, the Echo Link and Echo Link Amp don't have microphones; if you want to integrate them into your Alexa-powered multi-room system you need to use another Echo device with a microphone.

Not only is this a great leap for Alexa which, until earlier this year, supported 12,000 products, but also takes the game to its biggest competitor, Google Assistant, which, in comparison, only supports a little over 5,000 smart devices and an unspecified number of brands (as of May 2018).

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It doesn't have built-in voice controls, but it can communicate with a nearby Echo.

It doesn't matter what the recipient's hardware is, of course, so you obviously aren't restricted to just calling people with Amazon's devices.

The newest Echo Show has a 10-inch display and is a window into all things Amazon. Hopefully, Amazon's presence will force rival companies in the TV space to make better and more flexible DVR systems to let you watch your favorite shows anywhere. The online retailer and technology company announced Thursday its Echo Auto, which brings Alexa and its voice controls to the vehicle.

It connects to your vehicle or phone via Bluetooth, and comes with a dashboard mount to stay in place.

Amazon's vision for the smart home is clear: get as many people to use Alexa-powered devices.

The takeaway: Putting Alexa in the vehicle is smart - really smart. It's ideal for playing music, getting news updates, and even controlling your house lights if you forgot to turn those off before you left.

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