Amazon has taken a new direction with its Astro robot, recognizing the challenges of penetrating the home robotics market. In response, the company has unveiled Astro for Business, targeting small- and medium-sized businesses with its latest creation. This adaptation of Astro is designed to serve as a reliable security robot, offering enhanced protection for corporate customers.
Astro for Business introduces a range of new features to the original robot. One notable capability is the ability to establish multiple security monitoring routes, ensuring comprehensive coverage within a business premise. Moreover, Astro can now detect and alert users upon hearing the sounds of critical alarms like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as glass breaking.
Anthony Robson, head of product for Amazon Astro, believes that traditional security solutions often fail to meet the dynamic and cost-effective requirements of businesses. According to Robson, Astro for Business fills that gap, offering a viable and efficient alternative for enhancing security measures.
However, the advanced functionalities of Astro for Business come at a price. Starting at $2,349.99, the initial cost may deter some potential customers. Additionally, to unlock the full value of the service, subscribers must opt for additional plans.
For seamless integration with Ring alarms and motion detectors, Astro for Business users are required to subscribe to Ring Protect Pro at a monthly cost of $20. Astro’s exclusive patrolling and alerting features, known as Astro Secure, are available for $60 per month. Furthermore, human agent support and monitoring services come at an additional charge of $99 per month, necessitating subscriptions to both Ring Protect Pro and Astro Secure.
While Amazon offers a four-month trial of Ring Protect Pro and Astro Secure for Astro for Business customers, the overall expenses can accumulate significantly in the long run.
The high pricing of Astro for Business seems to reflect Amazon’s attempt to extract maximum value from the Astro robot. Notably, Astro’s absence from the company’s annual devices and services showcase, along with the recent departure of Ken Washington, Amazon’s VP of consumer robotics, has raised questions about the future direction of this innovation.
Despite the uncertainty, Astro for Business presents a promising solution for small and medium-sized enterprises seeking enhanced security measures. As the commercial version of Astro gains traction in the market, it aims to redefine the role of robotics in business settings while addressing the specific needs of this corporate audience.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can Astro for Business only be used as a security robot?
Yes, Astro for Business is primarily designed to serve as a security robot for small- and medium-sized businesses, offering features such as monitoring routes and alerting capabilities.
What are the additional costs associated with Astro for Business?
To fully utilize Astro for Business, subscribers must opt for Ring Protect Pro at $20 per month, Astro Secure at $60 per month, and human agent support and monitoring at $99 per month.
Is Astro for Business available outside the United States?
Currently, Astro for Business is only available in the U.S., with no specific information about international availability.
Why did Amazon release Astro for Business if its purpose remains unclear?
Amazon aims to capitalize on the Astro robot by offering enhanced security solutions for businesses. While the purpose of Astro may still be evolving, Amazon believes Astro for Business addresses a need in the market.