With their announcement of the new Echo Dot, Amazon unveiled Echo Spatial Perception, which allows Alexa to decide which device is closest to the user and respond from only that device. Echo Spatial Perception is not just a feature for new units, it is being rolled out to all Echo’s and Dots via software updates.
This means that going forward, Echo devices will be aware of each other to a degree, and will be able to decide where playback will occur. It’s not a huge leap to assume that with this technology, Alexa could decide that playback should occur across all devices rather than just one device. Whether or not Echo Spatial Perception was built with this in mind has yet to be seen. It would also have to have the ability to sync that playback across multiple devices, which may be more difficult than simply picking one device to playback audio.
Regardless, Echo Spatial Perception seems to be a first step towards making multiple Echo devices work in tandem. Given Amazon’s new push to sell Dots in six and twelve packs, it seems like unified playback would be a natural progression. Couple this with their newfound friendship with Sonos and it starts to feel like Amazon has whole house audio in their sites.
Time will tell where this is going, but Echo Spatial Perception is a welcome addition to any household with multiple Echo devices.