Amazon is reportedly working on a device like the Echo that has a screen, which could signal the eCommerce giant is aiming to benefit from the success of Echo with Alexa, its virtual assistant.
According to a report by Bloomberg, citing two people familiar with the matter, the device will include a touchscreen that is about seven inches, which will make it easier for customers to see content, such as weather forecasts, appointments and news. The move would be a departure from Amazon’s strategy when it comes to Echo. With the Echo, information comes via Alexa, prompted by voice commands. The report noted the speaker will be bigger and tilted upwards so the screen can be seen by a user that is standing with the device on a surface such as a counter.
Bloomberg noted the new speaker is slated to be rolled out in the first quarter of next year and will include high-end speakers. The new device is expected to run on an enhanced version of Fire OS and will also respond to voice commands in addition to the ability to use the touchscreen. Amazon is reportedly testing a feature that lets users pin items they see to the screen similar to how consumers hang photos and notes on their refrigerator. The new device will be priced higher than the existing Echo devices, which Amazon will continue to sell, reported Bloomberg.
The move on the part of Amazon to launch a new Echo-like device shouldn’t come as surprise since the eCommerce giant is known for innovating. Take its shopping event, dubbed Voice Shopping Weekend, which launched earlier this month. All customers had to do was ask, “Alexa, what are your deals?” to their Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Tap smart speakers, Fire TV or Fire HD tablet to kickstart their holiday shopping. Well, as long as the customer subscribes to Prime and already has one-click shopping enabled.