Amazon Echo Show

Submitted by Peter on Tue, 05/09/2017 - 17:11

Amazon Echo ShowHot off the heels of the announcement for the release of the Echo Look Amazon have now announced a new Alexa device.

The name? The Amazon Echo Show. This isn't just a reworked Echo with a different aesthetic, the Echo show comes with a 7" display as well as a built-in camera. So why would an Echo require a camera? Simple, so that you can make video calls.

As well as having new abilities with the Camera, the Echo Show will be completely compatible with skills that are already in existence. I suspect that an API will be opened up so that skill cards will become more powerful and useful. The Echo also has something called Flash Briefings, this allows you to catch up with the news in bite size chunks, Amazon will introduce Video Flash Briefings. I do not believe that these will be as useful but certainly a great feature.

Amazon has also announced that you will be able to hook up, for example, smart home cameras to the Look and see the video. This could be advantageous for example with devices such as the Ring Video Doorbell.  This type of use could allow you to see who is at the door and potentially even speak to them without actually going to the door (this could be particularly beneficial for disabled people).

The official developer blog has posted regarding the release announcement and goes into a little more detail than the product page so certainly worth a read. Something that I hypothesized when the Echo Look was announced is that Amazon may open up the built in camera with the skills kit. At present, there is no sign of this but with Amazon going to deep into devices with cameras I believe it to be an inevitable outcome in the long term.

The Amazon show currently only has a US release date which is scheduled for the 28th June. The device is currently listed at $229.99 with a $100 discount if you purchase 2 at the same time. I would suspect that the device will hit other markets such as the UK and Germany potentially in spring 2018 (although a pre-Christmas release would go down well).

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