Hot on the heels of last month's Amazon Echo Look announcement, the e-commerce behemoth has just pulled the wraps off its next Alexa-powered connected home device, the Amazon Echo Show, and it has a screen.
Here's everything we know so far ahead of its arrival, including price and availability.
What is the Amazon Echo Show?
The Echo Show is a new variant of one of the company's connected home devices powered by its Alexa virtual assistant. The Show mirrors much of the functionality already offered up by Amazon's existing connected speakers, the Echo and Echo Dot, however, the biggest difference is that it features a 7-inch touchscreen display, dual forward-firing 2-inch Dolby-certified stereo speakers and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.
Like the Echo speakers, the Echo Show will launch in both black and white colourways, sporting a decidedly utilitarian design. Its front measures just under 19cm tall and wide, it features an eight-microphone array for far-field voice detection (that's one more than both Echo speakers), there are three physical buttons on top (volume controls and a power key for the microphones and camera) and it's powered by an Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor accompanied by both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.
What can the Amazon Echo Show do?
The Echo Show is designed to sit in your home, be it on your bedside table, in your lounge or on your kitchen countertop and do everything the existing Echo range can; like stream music from a myriad of services, answer simple questions and set timers. It's the addition of that screen and camera that add a few new abilities into the mix.
The flash briefing, which collates news headlines with your upcoming schedule, can now be served up in video form courtesy of the likes of CNN and Bloomberg. Lyrics will appear on-screen when playing tunes using Amazon Music, weather forecasts and shopping lists can be viewed as well as heard, using Amazon Photos the Show can double as a digital photo frame and you can even ask it to play shows from Amazon Video or YouTube videos of kittens.
It also supports a host of connected home standards like WeMo and Philips Hue but also Ring and Arlo, so you can ask it to display your security camera feeds as well as switching your lighting and heating on or off.
The front-facing camera also adds in video-chat functionality, so you can call other Echo Show users in your contacts or those with the Alexa app on their phone or tablet. There's even a short list of favourite contacts who, once authorised, can initiate a Drop In session, where they can call and initiate a video call without you needed to directly answer. When a Drop In call is placed the recipient can do nothing and have the call simply connect or choose to reject the call or switch to audio only if it isn't a good time within the first ten seconds.
Amazon Echo Show US and UK price, release date
We've heard nothing from Amazon UK on the company's plans to launch the Echo Show on our side of the Atlantic anytime soon, so for the time being, we're only privy to the device's US pricing and availability information.
The Amazon Echo Show was made available for pre-order in the US as of May 9th in both black and white, priced at $229 for one, or, as part of an introductory $100 discount, $358 for two. The device is scheduled to be released in the States on June 28th.
Check back soon once we have more information regarding its UK launch.