#CES2023 Automotive Devices & Services from Amazon

Amazon made many announcements during CES. The company introduced Ring Car Cam, Alexa EV Charging information, Panasonic Automotive’s SkipGen and Fraunhofer IIS 3D Amazon Music.

Ring Car Cam Records Events & Lets You See Inside Your Car

Ring Car Cam extends the power of Ring’s technology from the home to the car, creating a brand-new category for Ring.

Ring Car Cam is controlled by the Ring App and unique in that its dual-facing camera records both when your car is in motion and when it’s turned off, giving you a sense of presence whether your car is parked at home, at the grocery store, or on the road. When your car is parked, Car Cam’s smart sensors are on guard to detect events inside and around your vehicle. If an event, such as a break in, is detected, the Cam will start recording and send a real-time alert to your Ring App, where you can watch what is happening live or talk directly with anyone in the car. Car Cam also has a unique feature called Traffic Stop. Simply say, “Alexa, record” and your Cam will record several minutes of what’s happening, despite the car being parked.

Ring Car Cam plugs into and is powered by your vehicle’s battery via the OBD-II port, which enables it to detect and record events even when your car is turned off. It securely attaches to your car windshield and dashboard, and the cable can be neatly tucked away out of sight. Wi-Fi connectivity means Car Cam will send real-time alerts to your phone when it’s connected to your home Wi-Fi, while LTE connectivity keeps the device connected on the move (LTE is available with an optional Ring Protect Go subscription).

Customer privacy, security, and control are foundational to Ring, and we designed Car Cam to empower customers to protect their personal information and videos, and to respect the privacy of others. When parked, the camera only starts recording when the smart sensors detect an event or when you initiate Live View, and there is an LED light to clearly indicate when the microphone and inside-facing camera are on and recording. A privacy shutter for the inside-facing camera easily disables the interior video and all audio when closed. Additionally, Car Cam supports optional video end-to-end encryption.

While Ring Car Cam sends real-time alerts when it’s on your home Wi-Fi, Ring Protect Go extends that protection with an LTE cellular connection. The LTE connection means you can receive real-time alerts for events, tap into Live View, and engage in a conversation with anyone in your car all from the Ring App while your car is away from home. Car Cam stores recordings locally for all customers, and the optional subscription unlocks the ability to save cloud highlights. Video highlights are stored in the cloud for up to 180 days, and when you use the Traffic Stop feature with Ring Protect Go, the beginning of the event recording will upload to the cloud for quick and easy access.

Ring Car Cam will retail for $249.99, but is available for $199.99 for a limited time during pre-order at Amazon.com. Device are scheduled to ship February 15.

Alexa for EV Charging

Say goodbye to “range anxiety” – Electric Vehicle (EV) charging is about to become a lot more convenient, thanks to new Alexa-enabled EV charging features. Starting later this year, EV drivers in the US can ask Alexa to help them find, navigate to, and pay for public charging spots through a simple voice request such as, “Alexa, find an EV charging station near me.” The Alexa EV charging experience connects customers to real-time station availability for over 150,000 public charging stations in the U.S., powered by EVgo, one of the nation’s largest fast-charging networks, and by other operators. EVgo will also be the first EV charging operator to offer voice-initiated payments for charging. Customers with Alexa-enabled vehicles and automotive accessories like Echo Auto will be able to ask Alexa to find the closest EVgo charging station and, once they arrive, initiate and pay for their charge, just by saying, “Alexa, pay for my charge.”

As part of Amazon’s continued mission to standardize voice interoperability and enable customer choice and flexibility, Amazon announced new collaborations and developments in existing partnerships, including:

Amazon and Panasonic Automotive Multi-Assistant Integration.

Amazon and Panasonic Automotive have jointly collaborated to update Panasonic Automotive’s SkipGen in-vehicle infotainment system, demonstrating an industry-first automotive integration that provides customers simultaneous access to Alexa or “Hey Siri” in Apple CarPlay. This ultimately increases customer value by providing simultaneous access to Siri and Alexa with their corresponding capabilities on a single system. Panasonic Automotive’s SkipGen creates a customer friendly experience for in-vehicle voice requests through the company’s deep experience integrating Apple CarPlay with their offerings paired with Amazon’s technologies across wake word detection, speech region detection, multiple voice assistant arbitration, and the Alexa Auto SDK.

Amazon Sidewalk Devices for Smarter Homes

Amazon Sidewalk, the secure, long-range network designed to provide low-cost, ubiquitous connectivity for billions of smart devices, will open to developers during the first half of this year. This means we’ll be offering developers and device makers a truly self-service model to independently and rapidly create new Sidewalk-enabled devices.

Amazon unveiled four new third-party Sidewalk-enabled devices designed to help customers realize everyday benefits around the home including a new natural gas alarm from New Cosmos, leveraging Sidewalk to provide customers with timely information about potential gas leaks in their home; several new residential Sidewalk-enabled devices from Browan including a motion detector, door and window sensors, a water leak detector, and CO2 detector, each utilizing Sidewalk to send alerts when needed; Deviceroy’s Aria smart modem, uses Sidewalk to connect solar inverters to the internet, helping customers automatically coordinate real-time energy availability with efficient appliances; and Meshify demonstrated their new Sidewalk-enabled leak and freeze detection devices, helping customers avert potentially catastrophic property damage.

3D Sound for Amazon Music from Fraunhofer IIS

Fraunhofer IIS, primary developer of the MPEG-H 3D Audio standard, and Amazon Music, the premium audio entertainment service, demonstrated together at CES 2023 how immersive and authentic 360 Reality Audio music can sound in a vehicle.

Streaming services are the preferred way for consumers to enjoy audio content today. Several well-established services including Amazon Music offer an immersive audio experience powered by 360 Reality Audio, which is based on the MPEG-H Audio standard, to mobile and living room devices already. In-car entertainment makes for another perfect listening environment for immersive audio content including music, audio books and podcasts that can unlock the sound system’s full potential.

During the live demo in an Audi e-tron that’s equipped with a production 3D sound system, CES visitors will be able for the first time to experience Amazon Music’s 360 Reality Audio immersive service streamed to an automotive environment.

Advanced in-car sound systems for premium, mid-range and even entry-level vehicles benefit from discrete spatial audio content that preserves the artist’s intent and reproduce the best possible sound in the car. Rear-seat entertainment systems with installed screens can render immersive audio over headphones with headtracking and in addition make use of the interactivity, personalization and accessibility features of MPEG-H Audio that are already well-established in streaming and broadcast.

“Fraunhofer has a long and successful history of providing best-in-class automotive audio solutions to the industry,” says Marc Gayer, Head of Business Department & Deputy Division Director Audio and Media Technologies at Fraunhofer IIS. “The availability of 360 Reality Audio content from Amazon Music in cars is the perfect match to the advancements in audio rendering capabilities that we’ve been striving for.”

MPEG-H Audio also enables advanced warning sounds with spatially rendered signaling. Audio objects can be positioned freely within an MPEG-H Audio mix. Only one warning sound item needs to be produced across all car models and the warning sound will be rendered at the correct position according to the available playback system.

MPEG-H 3D Audio is the leading Next Generation Audio system used for immersive music streaming and TV broadcast. The 360 Reality Audio music format based on MPEG-H 3D Audio offers a new music ecosystem utilizing Sony’s object-based 360 Spatial Sound technology. Now, artists and music creators can bring a spatial musical experience to their audience. When listeners hear content produced in the new format for 360 Reality Audio, they can be immersed in a field of sound exactly as intended by artists and creators. 360 Reality Audio music services are available from multiple streaming service providers worldwide, including Amazon Music.