Seattle, US, May 10 — The rumored new Amazon Echo device with a screen is real. It’s called Echo Show and they released it into their online store today for pre-order. Actual shipping release will be June 28, 2017. Increasing their Alexa-enabled device portfolio like this will further help Amazon to place themselves as part of your daily routines at home.
After pushing out the Echo Look, in April, Amazon seems really ambitious to get into your houses and apartments. Next to the newly introduced display, what can Echo Show actually help you with?
The device lets you play music, do video calls, watch videos, and control your smart home. This is, however, restricted to “Amazon Friendly” services. YouTube, for instance, works but media streaming services that are in competition with Amazon solutions are not (yet) supported. If you’ve fully opted into the Amazon services, that should, however, not be an issue for you.
You can also use your smartphone, tablet, or computer to stream music on your Echo Show or connect the Echo device to your Bluetooth speakers, for as long they don’t require PIN authentication.
If you own other Echo devices, it’s said that the Echo Show will work neatly together with those in order not to trigger an army of devices when you try to tell Alexa something.
The hobby chefs of you are likely to appreciate the hands-free way of working with Echo Show to watch your favorite YouTubers as you try to cook along with their instructions in the kitchen.
Video calling culture?
The Echo Show unit could be the start of people making use of video conferencing in their homes on stationary devices, as it never really took place. Of course, there were appliances in the past from which some were clunky, too proprietary and some options just for enterprise budget.
With the Echo Show, Amazon might be getting a foot into the door, establishing the video calling culture we know from the Jetsons and Back to the Future. This will be interesting.
I know, I know. You want to get to know some details and I collected you some hard data:
- 7″ touchscreen (no resolution details)
- Total size 7.4” x 7.4” x 3.5” (187mm x 187mm x 90mm)
- 41.0 oz. (1170 grams) heavy
- 5MP camera
- Dual-band Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth (incoming/outgoing media)
- 2″ stereo speakers (not details on Hz audio spectrum)
- Alexa AI enabled
- Intel Atom x5-Z8350 CPU
- 8-Microphone array
- Available in black and white
There is a button for muting the microphone and blocking camera but as there is no mechanical camera lid covering the lens, some people might be afraid of being watched regardless. Perhaps the next hardware iteration will include a mechanical lens cover.
You can pre-order the Echo Show from Amazon, starting today, in the US store, with other regions to follow. One unit is sold for $229.99, with a bundle discount of $100 if you buy two and enter the code “SHOW2PACK” during the ordering process.
Amazon: Introducing Echo Show