Amazon today announced that it is rolling out ‘Show Mode’ for the Alexa app on select Lenovo laptops. The feature was first unveiled earlier this year for PCs and aims to make these laptops “Echo Show-like” devices, bringing a bunch of Alexa features and skills accessed by simple voice commands. The company says that Show Mode is a “voice-first, interactive Alexa experience for PCs”.
Show Mode can be enabled by using a simple voice command asking the assistant to open the feature or by clicking on the ‘Show Mode’ icon in the Alexa app. The app then takes over the screen and displays information relevant to the user – just like on the Echo Show –, including calendar appointments, the weather, and more. Users can then use the device just like an Alexa-powered smart display, performing actions such as requesting weather information, creating to-do lists, playing music on Amazon Music, and controlling smart home devices.
Lenovo says that it worked with Amazon to introduce the ability to automatically enable the feature when the PC is idle, and that it has optimized the feature to help with reducing battery consumption. “By enabling Show Mode on Lenovo PCs, we are providing customers with a highly versatile user experience on a natural and convenient interface”, says Igor Bergman, Vice President of Cloud and Software, Intelligent Devices Group at Lenovo.
Show Mode isn’t a new concept of its own since the feature first made it to Amazon’s Fire tablets back in 2018. While it does look like a nifty way to access Alexa-specific commands and features, it will be interesting to see how useful it will be for users. The idea of letting a PC consume battery when not in use, especially with the display turned on for Show Mode, seems like a niche idea.
Currently, Show Mode is exclusive to Lenovo Yoga, IdeaPad, and ThinkPad PCs in the the US, UK, Germany, Japan, India, Ireland, Austria, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, and New Zealand that ship with the Alexa app built into Windows 10. The company says that it will be made available to additional devices later this year.