Voice control is becoming a must-have in the smart home, thanks to products and partnerships from Amazon, Google, and Apple. So which one do you choose? Amazon wants to make the decision a little easier.
The company just announced the Echo Show, a product that combines a 7-inch touchscreen with the Echo speaker. This means you can see and hear news, follow lyrics along with Amazon Music, and flip through Prime Photos. It also promises the ability to do face-to-face calling with other Echo users or anyone with the Alexa App.
According to Amazon, the Echo Show has eight microphones and "beam-forming" technology, so it can hear you from across the room. Like the Amazon Echo, the Echo Show is made to play music, with two 2-inch speakers and Dolby sound. It can also tap into millions of songs through Amazon Music Unlimited, as well as Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn.
Also like the Echo (and everything else in the Alexa lineup), users can wake the Echo Show just by saying "Alexa." From there, you can ask for movie trailers, YouTube videos, music, calendar info, shopping lists, alarms, and more. It can also control smart-home devices, such as thermostats and lights. It can even deliver a peek at compatible security cameras, such as the Netgear Arlo and the Ring.
Similar to everything in the Alexa lineup, the Echo Show can be made smarter by adding in one of the thousands of skills available through the Alexa app. Other features include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support, an Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor, and a front-facing camera.
Amazon has priced the Echo Show at $229.99. The online retailer is taking orders now, with plans to start shipping the device on June 28, 2017.
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