Amazon's Touchscreen Echo Show Announced; Alexa updated with Voice Calls

Francis Harris
May 15, 2017

If this sounds like something you want for the home, you can take advantage of a special offer on Amazon and save $100 if you buy two Echo Show.

While today Amazon only links up Alexa devices, it's not insane to imagine a future that allows calls to mobile.

Amazon is constantly updating its smart speaker the Echo. For instance, its home screen will show the calendar for the whole family, their to-do lists, and their notes.

We as people need to realize the risk to our privacy also.

And all Echo devices, the Show included, have an Allrecipes skill, which, once enabled, allows you to search for new recipes in the Allrecipes database, and save your favorites.

Apple has thus far stayed out the space; Phil Schiller recently said any Echo-like device probably needed a touch screen, so we'll have to see if Cupertino decides to give the Echo Show a run for its money.

Amazon's virtual assistant, Alexa, is getting a financial upgrade with a new skill from American Express. There's even a Drop In feature that lets you mark trusted contacts, and their video calls will automatically be accepted and put through within 10 seconds if you don't decline or opt for audio only. Instead of telling you about something, the Echo Show can show and tell you what you want to know. So, think of the Echo Show as an Amazon Echo with a tablet and Bluetooth speaker built into it. Nucleus was and is more or less the same thing as the Echo Show: "an Alexa-powered tablet computer created to be a dead-simple home intercom system and video conferencing tool". Amazon's breakthrough came when it figured out a way to package technologies like voice recognition and artificial intelligence in a device for the home that could be commanded without having to look at a screen. Microsoft Cortana digital assistant powers it.

Also like the Echo (and everything else in the Alexa lineup), users can wake the Echo Show just by saying "Alexa".

You'll be able to pause, play, or rewind a video just by asking Alexa to do so. And in addition to controlling lights and various other smart devices, now you can pull up a video camera feed from elsewhere in your home.

The idea of voice calling doesn't start and stop with Amazon. Amazon has ended the sale on the Echo and other Amazon Devices available all of last week.

The Echo Show dominating Nucleus might create a chilling impact for companies looking to create products using the AI Alexa, as reported by CNET.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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