After some extensive leaks around the device in last one week, Amazon has now officially launched the Echo product with a front camera and touchscreen display. Called the Amazon Echo Show, the device is now up for pre-orders on Amazon, and is priced at $229.99, which translates to about Rs 15,000.
In line with what most leaks speculated, the Echo Show features a 7-inch screen; set into the frame are a front-facing five-megapixel camera and a pair of two-inch speakers. The Echo Show has the same basic capabilities as the regular, voice-only Echo (like setting timers and listening to music), however the built-in display adds plenty of new functionalities to the device. The Show’s screen will give users more information about their Alexa queries (displaying a full weather report or the steps in each recipe, for example), and can be used to play videos.
As with most Amazon products, the Show also works best within the company’s ecosystem. Essentially, people can use the screen on the Echo show as a digital photo frame by pulling pictures stored on Prime Photos, and when it’s playing songs from Amazon Music, it’ll put the lyrics up on-screen. Amazon says the device can also be connected to Wi-Fi-enabled security cameras, letting users check their video feed with commands like “Alexa, show me the front door.”
However, that’s not even the best feature. The most interesting bit is that the Echo Show gives users access to video and voice calls. The Show comes with microphone technology similar to the regular Echo, although it has eight microphones instead of seven. Anyone can make or receive a call through the Show if they have the Alexa app (there’s no support for Skype as of right now), and Amazon is also unveiling a new feature called “Drop In,” which lets designated friends and family make a call at any time. The receiver then has a 10-second window to reject a Drop In call or switch it to audio-only. ALSO READ: Confused what to wear? Amazon’s new Echo Look camera can help you
Though the Echo Show would most likely be used in a small number of scenarios, I can already imagine it being used to check on on the kids or the elders at home.
The new Show will start shipping to customers on June 28, and Amazon is currently running a promotion where customers can buy two for $360 (Rs 23,000 approx). ALSO READ: Apple reportedly working on Amazon Echo-like smart home speaker