Just a couple of weeks ago, Amazon unveiled the Echo Look - Alexa with a camera that's good enough to judge your looks. Today, Amazon has unveiled the Echo Show - an Echo with a screen, letting Alexa do more than just talk.
The Echo Show have been a topic of rumors for months; last week, a photo of the device was leaked. It weighs 1.1 kg, so it's not portable by any stretch - but it's not meant to be. It's meant to be on the counter, where anyone can command Alexa to do things, much like the Echo.
The 7-inch touchscreen covers most of the device, but there's also a camera on the top and Dolby-powered speakers on the bottom, along with eight microphones hidden within. The inclusion of a camera lets users make a video call, by simply yelling at Alexa - a convenient feature for the non-tech-savvy, and perhaps the selling point of the device.
Besides that, the screen is still useful for plenty of things: Alexa can play videos from YouTube or show news briefings, perhaps display the weather report, or maybe present you with a quick way of editing your to-do and shopping lists. It can even display the live video feed from Ring and Arlo cameras on the same network and show lyrics for music playing via Amazon Music.
The rest is same as the other devices in the Echo lineup - Alexa can still control all the IoT devices in the house, call you an Uber, read you a recipe, or do any of the other thousand skills that it has learned since its launch.
Amazon is taking preorders for the Echo Show in the US starting today, at the price of $229.99, with shipments starting by June 28. A release for the UK and Germany is planned for a “later date”, but Amazon has announced that the device would cost £219.99 in the UK and €239.99 in Germany when it's launched. Those are the same three countries where the rest of the Echo lineup is available, so Amazon isn't expanding its sphere just yet.
In some ways, the Echo Show is much like a landline phone from the past, except more - depending on how well it works. It's a device designed to be at the center of a home, with Alexa controlling every IoT device in its vicinity. Granted, the Echo could do most of the things that Echo Show can, but the addition of a screen allows for more freedom, and perhaps makes the device more accessible for the less tech-savvy.