Amazon is set to launch a new home-device like Echo, but with a screen. According to a Bloomberg report, the new Amazon device will have a 7-inch touchscreen and it could be announced as early as Q1 of 2017. The site quoted people familiar with the matter, who said, “This will make it easier to access content such as weather forecasts, calendar appointments, and news.”
Amazon’s new device will be bigger in size compared to Echo and will tilt upwards. The touchscreen is supposed to rest on the tilt, making it easier for users to read it while they’re standing. It will also be a more premium device compared to the earlier Amazon Echo.
The speaker will still respond to voice commands. The company is shipping device with new high-grade speakers to make it sound better than Echo devices, adds the report. Amazon home speakers are powered by Alexa, the company’s voice-based digital assistant.
Amazon is making changes to the sound quality after some customers put out unfavourable reviews of Echo’s audio quality. “The new Amazon device will use an optimised version of Fire OS, the software that runs Amazon’s Fire tablets and Fire TV set-top box,” the report reveals.
Amazon is looking to make another minor addition to its new device that will let users physically pin photos etc on their speaker. However, Amazon won’t be pulling off its Dot, Tap and Echo speakers from the market, which cost $50, $130 and $180, respectively. But the new speaker will be priced higher.
Amazon’s Echo has new competition in the market with Google’s Home speaker now available on sale in the US. However, Home still doesn’t have third-party app support, and users can place Amazon orders, etc from the Google speaker, but this will change soon. Plus Google Home won’t be the only competition.
Reports claim Apple is working on a new home device based with Siri as the highlight. In China, a company named LingLong released China’s first voice-activated smart home speaker called DingDong. According to Wired report, LingLong hopes to work with Amazon to put DingDong into Echo. This could pave the way for Amazon to bring Echo into the Chinese market. The site quoted Lv Fang, head of sales and marketing, who said, “If they want to sell the Echo in China, maybe they will use our voice engine.”