Amazon Echo Show, the company’s latest voice-controlled speaker with a touchscreen has been launched, and this device can also be used to make video calls. Amazon Echo Show will be available in white or black and will begin shipping on June 28, though the device is already available for pre-order in the US. The Echo Show is priced at $229.99 (or approx Rs. 14,868)
Like its previous generation Alexa-powered Echo devices, the Show will respond to voice commands, play audio, and is capable of controlling smart home appliances around the home. The Show, however, now comes with a touchscreen.
It comes with a 7-inch touchscreen and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, allowing users to do a number of tasks, such as attending video and voice calls with other Echo devices. Plus, it can play content from YouTube and other apps. The video calling feature seems proprietary, as users will be able to call anyone with an Echo device or a mobile device with the Alexa app installed.
There is a new feature called ‘Drop In’ which basically allows users to connect to another Echo Show without the other person having to accept the call. They can choose to answer only via voice. The Echo Show also includes Dolby-powered speakers for music playback for ‘crisp vocals and dynamic bass response’.
The Show is Amazon’s fourth major Echo-branded device. The original Amazon Echo was launched way back in 2014, followed by a smaller Echo Dot, the Echo Tap and, last month the company unveiled the Echo Look, which has a camera but no built-in screen.
The voice-controlled smart speaker market continues to grow rapidly, with Amazon’s Echo range of devices dominating the segment. According to data from research firm eMarketer, Amazon’s Echo devices will have 70.6 per cent of the market compared to 23.8 per cent for Google’s Home. The research firm expects 35.6 million Americans will use a voice-activated device – at least once a month this year.
Amazon, of course, isn’t the only player that wants to rule the segment. Alphabet’s Google is equally interested to solidify its position with its AI-powered speaker, Google Home. Apple, the world’s most valuable tech company, is currently missing from the scene but the company might release its Siri-powered speaker at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. Samsung’s Harman Kardon has recently launched a voice-controlled speaker with Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant.