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Amazon Preps New Echo Speaker With Touchscreen

( [email protected] ) May 09, 2017 12:26 AM EDT
Amazon wants to wrest the smart home with a new touchscreen-equipped Echo Speaker announcement.
Amazon is offering the Amazon Echo for only $139.99 as part of their Cyber Monday deals. 기태 김 via Flickr

Amazon’s Echo range has certainly done well for itself ever since it was introduced, and this is no big surprise, either. After all, an artificial intelligence powered device that is seemingly uncanny with its answers to your questions, and even working out your schedule, is to be commended as it brings humanity one step closer to a more automated lifestyle. Other rivals have already popped up, seeing just how big the potential of conquering such a market is. Samsung has their Bixby, Apple with their Siri (and moving to connected cars, too!), while Microsoft’s Cortana and HomeHub continues to provide a strong showing, with Google Home keeping you up to pace with your appointments, events and activities, Amazon intends to cement their position right at the top of the hill with an updated Amazon Echo device. This new Amazon Echo speaker will, at long last, include a touchscreen display that will naturally support video calls as well, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The new Amazon Echo speaker will arrive with a 7-inch touchscreen display, where it will rely on a Wi-Fi or Internet connection to perform Internet-based video/telephone calls while showing off visual results when it comes to spoken queries. It has not been ruled out just yet that camera functionality might also end up as part of the deal, which would help it remain on par with the capabilities found in the newly released Echo Look.

Some might say that the upcoming Amazon Echo speaker, while sporting the touchscreen innovation, is a repurposed Echo Look albeit with a wee bit more functionalities. It does not matter though, the market is vast and poised for growth, and a new addition to Amazon’s growing portfolio of devices will allow consumers a greater degree of flexibility and enjoyment. For instance, consumers can now snap videos and photos of their outfits, while using an algorithm to compare them in terms of style. Perhaps Amazon would like to target just about everyone in the broader market, hence the launching of both of these devices so close to one another. Word has it that Amazon could unveil their latest Echo Speaker on Tuesday, May 9, but that has not been officially confirmed just yet.

As for pricing, we do not expect Amazon to stray too far from their current formula in order to maintain a level of affordability among consumers. After all, it would be dangerous if consumers suffer from Amazon Echo fatigue. The current Amazon Echo device will retail for $150 thereabouts, and the upcoming speaker with a touchscreen is expected to pass the $200 price point due to the inclusion of better hardware.

Apart from the upcoming speaker (fingers crossed that it will be a looker), Amazon is also touted to introduce telephone services to play nice with current Echo devices in the course of the coming weeks. How about starting with intercom functionality so that two Echo devices are able to communicate with one another? Now that would be a decent beginning. This might also be Amazon’s preemptive strike against rumors that Apple is preparing their own Siri-powered speaker.

Tags : Amazon, amazon echo, amazon echo speaker, echo speaker