Amazon announces Echo Show featuring a screen
Amazon announced the newest addition to their Alexa-powered Echo line of smart home devices today, the Echo Show. Unlike all previous Echo models, the Echo Show will feature a display screen. The 7-inch screen will be touch enabled and will display news and weather information, YouTube and other online video sources, and most interestingly it will also be used for Amazon's new video calling feature.
The home of the future feels like it is already here with devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home popping up in more and more residences. With the Echo Show, however, your home may feel directly out of a 1960s science-fiction movie. The traditional Echo and Alexa features will be present, but so too will be a new voice and video calling service that is exclusive to users of Echo devices.
From viewing baby monitors to watching YouTube, Amazon hopes that customers will delight in finally having a screen to use with their smart home assistant. While most Echo devices, as well as the competing Google Home, remain screen-less, the Echo Show is a natural evolution of choice for those in Amazon's smart home ecosystem. The Show will likely face minor pressure from Microsoft's upcoming update to Cortanta on the lock screen of Windows 10 devices (aimed at turning every P.C. into an always-on personal assistant with a screen), but the novel approach of having the assistant tied to a unique device seems infinitely better than tying it to an existing computer monitor.
The Echo Show will retail for $229 through Amazon.com and is currently available for pre-order in two different color models: black and white. Buyers using the code "SHOW2PACK" can save $100 when purchasing two Echo Show units. The devices will begin shipping by June 28, 2017.