According to a report, online retail giant Amazon wants to stay one step ahead of competition and is planning to reveal a touch screen version of the popular Echo device. The Monday report stated that the company will unveil a 7-inch touch screen Echo version. It will reportedly also have support for internet-based telephone and video calls. As expected, Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant will be the heart and soul of this version too.
A touch screen version of Echo
Rumors began flying around last week, when a series of images displaying the new product appeared on some Amazon servers. There were some low-resolution photos which showed a device shaped like a wedge, with a big touch screen display over a long speaker. Visitors were able to see the images for a short period of time. It is interesting to note that the device sported a small opening over the display, probably meant to hold a camera. This camera could be useful for machine learning processes, similar to what Echo Look does. This latter device uses such a process to rate a user’s outfit.
The device is supposedly in the internal beta testing for some months. Experts are predicting that it will have a $200 retail price when Amazon will release it. If the price will prove to be true, it will make the new device the most expensive one of the Echo lineup. The second most expensive product is the Echo speaker, currently on sale for $149. Amazon is reportedly planning to announce this new device on Tuesday. The shipments for it will begin in June.
Staying one step ahead
Apart from this touch screen new Echo model, Amazon is reportedly planning to announce some telephone services for their other Echo devices. Interestingly enough, Apple is also planning to launch their own home voice assistant device. It could happen as soon as next month. Rumor has it that it may look similar to the Echo, with a cylindrical design. However, it will have some high-end audio parts, an A-series CPU and a very advanced communication suite. It will have Apple’s already popular Siri voice assistant. So, it seems like the competition will become tougher, especially when it comes to smart home hardware.
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