Amazon has officially unveiled its latest Echo product: a touch screen device with built-in digital assistant Alexa called the "Echo Show". It was leaked many times this week, but it is now available to pre-order from Amazon for $229.99. The device also displays the news with a video flash briefing and shows you your Prime photos. With the Echo Show, the device can now display its answers to the user apart from saying it out loud; flawless for situations where quiet and calm are a requirement, like during the night. You ask Alexa to call one of your contacts, and that person's Echo starts ringing. but maybe not an Echo. The Echo Show has a 7-inch touchscreen and a front-facing camera.
You can tell Alexa to answer the call, or ignore the call, but going by the promotional video Amazon has produced, Echo isn't able to tell you who's calling, so you could end up ignoring your mum's call! The Amazon Echo Show allows you to connect with your friends in a more appealing manner.
The Show can also display video clips summoned by voice commands, a live feed from a connected home security camera or smart doorbell system, news headlines from CNN, and a look at the weather forecast and your calendar. This roll out also gives users an option to dictate a message to Alexa and send it, and similar to the calling update, a green light will herald an incoming message.
"Putting a semi-permanent ambient device in the home that can make and receive video calls is an interesting evolution which should prove compelling", said Jackdaw Research analyst Jan Dawson.
It is essentially a bulky tablet - but powered by Alexa with the potential to tap into the smart home. The device can stream music from Amazon Music and display the lyrics of the song as it plays, while it also supports Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio. If so, can you see yourself using it for calling or messaging? There are no Echo Shows reviews online at the moment.