Amazon has introduced a new version of its Echo product: an internet-connected device that can be used to make video and audio calls, make online purchases, and control other home devices.
Unlike the previous version of the product, which allowed users to ask Alexa questions and get answers, the new device can be used to make video calls. The feature allows users to connect to their friends and family who have an Alexa or Echo Show app on their smartphones. The feature makes Echo Show a great alternative to Skype and Apple’s FaceTime.
The Echo Show uses the Alexa virtual assistant and features 5MP foward facing camera, noise cancellation technology, eight microphones for voice recognition and Dolby-powered speakers. A feature called Drop In enables users to quickly contact users of other Amazon Echo devices by sending them text messages or making audio calls. Besides, the device lets users to watch weather forecasts, see music lyrics, and play content from Youtube and other applications.
According to Amazon, the gadget can be connected to Wi-Fi-enabled security cameras, including baby monitors and front door video cameras.
The Echo Show will be delivered from June 28 and is already available for preorders. The device will cost $229.99 and will initially be available in the US only. The company has also launched a promotion for the launch of the speaker to let buyers save $100 for ordering two Echo Show devices.
The Echo Show is the second Alexa-powered device Amazon launched this year. Last month, the company unveiled the Echo Look, a style assistant that provides fashion advice for customers.
Although Amazon was the first company to enter the digital assistant market, it is now facing a growing competition from other tech companies. Last year, Google unveiled a voice-activated home device called Google Home. Meantime, Samsung and are planning to launch devices powered by the virtual assistant technology. Harman Kardon has recently teased the upcoming launch of a speaker with ’s Cortana digital assistant.
Moreover, Apple is rumored to launch a home speaker equipped with its Siri voice assistant. Although Apple didn’t give any information on the new speaker, rumors suggest the company will announce the device at WWDC 2017 conference that will be held this June.
In late 2016, Amazon unveiled Amazon Go, which is called “the world’s most advanced shopping technology.” The app allows users to choose the item they need and walk out of the store without waiting at a register.