May 10, 2017

Amazon Shows, Tells, and Listens with Echo Show

Amazon would like your attention please: it’s their turn to show and tell. Amazon recently unveiled the Echo Show, a significant departure from the previous iterations of the home device Amazon Echo. The Echo Show features a retro squarish design and a 7-inch touchscreen.

Amazon’s Echo is a range of WiFi-enabled, Alexa-powered home hubs that can play media and respond to voice commands. The new Echo Show comes equipped with eight microphones, beam-forming tech, and noise cancellation features similar with previous iterations of the Amazon Echo. It can hear your commands from anywhere in the room you and the device are in. It has a front camera above its screen and a Dolby-equipped speaker below it. Amazon still hasn’t specified the screen resolution.

The evolution of Echo

This highly evolved Echo has new features not found in any of its previous models, like the Alexa Calling feature. It lets you make voice and/or video calls with friends who either have an Echo or Alexa app in their devices. Sure, you can do that in a variety of different ways but Echo’s way is easier than most: just yell at Alexa so you can contact other people. The feature can also be used to send messages to a friend’s (or your own) Alexa-enabled device.

The Echo Show also has a new feature called Drop In. Drop In lets you instantly connect with friends and family and letting them know whether it’s time for the lunch or dinner you set up, or any other errand or thing you have in mind.

The addition of a touch screen makes the Echo Show a hundred times more useful than the old Echo. It enables you to watch videos, check the weather (visually), and browse the internet. Like a little whistle while you work? Look at lyrics while you’re singing as you cook. You can also review a map before heading out, shop online, and more.

You can use the Echo Show to connect with cameras from Ring and Arlo. This gives you the ability to look at other rooms from where you are with the Echo Show, sort of like a CCTV. The device can also connect with and control thermostats and lights from Philips Hue, WeMo, Ecobee, and a bunch of other brands.

Opening new doors

The new device is an improved home assistant that “connects” you. It dramatically lets you do more—hands-free. Amazon’s Echo is already a runaway hit for being able to accommodate and integrate with a host of other devices and services. The addition of a touchscreen and other features just broadened its range of functionality.

The release of the device opens doors to new possibilities, like the replacement of the telephone or perhaps a different sort of television, combining various devices and functions into once device.

The Echo Show retails for $230 (845 AED) in the US right now. There’s no official announcement yet on ready availability in other countries.

The Echo Show is available at two for $360 (1322 AED). That is a $100 (367 AED) discount on the second unit. It’s also cheaper than other touchscreen tablets that can work with Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, or Apple’s Siri.

You can pre-order now, shipping starts by June 28th in the United States.