Amazon is expanding its Echo line of smart speakers with the first touch screen-equipped model: the brand-new Echo Show, slated to go on sale next month.
Rumors of a new Amazon Echo speaker with a display have been making rounds for a good while now and it looks like they were spot-on. Amazon has officially unveiled the new Echo Show, which sports a 7-inch touch screen display.
This means that Alexa, Amazon's popular virtual assistant, is coming soon to an Echo screen nearby, ready to play media and respond to voice commands through a new gadget.
Amazon Echo Show Highlight Features
So far, Amazon Echo speakers have allowed users to interact with Alexa by asking questions and getting responses, or giving voice commands to perform certain tasks. The new Echo Show adds a more real-life touch to the mix, now allowing users to handle video calls as well.
"Echo Show brings you everything you love about Alexa, and now she can show you things. Watch video flash briefings and YouTube, see music lyrics, security cameras, photos, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists, and more. All hands-free - just ask," Amazon touts in the product description.
"Introducing a new way to be together. Talk to family and friends who have an Echo or the Alexa App," it adds.
Enhancing Alexa Skills
The description further indicates that the Echo Show integrates and improves skills already available with the existing Echo, such as seeing music lyrics for Amazon Music.
The Echo Show features eight microphones, Dolby speakers, and a 5-megapixel camera, and it even works with existing Alexa skills that don't have a video aspect. The gadget weighs 41 ounces so it won't replace your phone anytime soon, although it can handle calls.
Amazon highlights that the addition of a touch screen significantly expands the range of applications the Echo speaker is suitable for. With the Echo Show, users can watch video briefings, YouTube videos, music lyrics, photos, weather forecasts, shopping lists and more, which should enhance the overall experience. The display also allows Echo Show users to check in on security cameras, for instance.
Amazon Echo Show Compatibility, Pricing, And Availability
The Amazon Echo Show is compatible with a slew of smart home devices including cameras, fans, lights, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, and others. A new feature called "Drop In," meanwhile, allows users to contact or send messages to other Echo Show devices for various things such as letting others know dinner is ready, checking on the baby's nursery, and other such tasks.
The Echo Show joins the other smart speakers in the lineup: the original Echo, the Echo Dot, and the more recent Echo Look. The new Echo speaker with a touch screen will be available in black or white color options and it will hit the market next month.
Amazon is selling the Echo Show at $229.99, but customers can get a $100 discount if they purchase two speakers at once. The Echo Show is up for preorder already and will start shipping on June 28, with initial availability apparently limited to the United States.