Amazon is reportedly working on an Echo device suited to be mounted on walls that acts like a control center for smart home devices. The said offering is expected to be a large touchscreen monitor, akin to the firm’s Echo Show, that houses microphones and cameras for not just controlling connected devices, but also work as a display for calendar events, video conferencing, playing music, and more.
Sources familiar with the plans for the device that is currently under development suggest that the company is currently considering 10-inch and 13-inch screen sizes for the command center-like display – with the former similar in screen size to the current Echo Show. Internal murmurs reportedly hint at a $200 to $250 price range for the product.
The idea of a control center for the home is not a new one. The e-commerce giant’s own offerings can be mounted with third-party wall mounts to be used as smart home controllers. Additionally, such a device from the company might also compete against products from the likes of Control4 that offer in-wall touch screens – all while offering the added benefits of Alexa integration.
The prospect of such a device is an interesting one since it might also integrate natively with Ring security cameras and be a nifty addition for those invested in Amazon’s ecosystem of smart devices. This, along with the capabilities brought about by Alexa, might make it a viable alternative to current offerings from other companies. Of course, the addition of microphones and speakers for video calling will also make it a casual conferencing tool – possibly for use within the house in the form of a broadcast feature.
While there is no firm information on when this product will see the light of the day, sources in the know of the development hint at a vague “end of this year” or the end of 2022 timeframe. Between now and then, there is no guarantee that the product will see the light of the day, as the company could decide to shelve the product depending on its view of the market for such a device.