Amazon

Will Amazon’s Next-Gen Echo Have A Screen?

The rumor mill has been turning for months now about the prospects of Amazon‘s break-out smart speaker device Amazon Echo gaining a touchscreen in its next iteration.

Now, we might have some proof. Well, ‘proof’ may be a strong assertion. Let’s go with ‘potential evidence.’

AFTVNews just recently reported it had found a low-resolution image on Amazon’s servers that shows a device that looks similar to older video-phones, but which could be an upcoming Echo product —codenamed ‘Knight’.

In the image, the screen, rumored to be about seven inches, sits above what appear to be speakers.

In the past, rumors suggested that a potential tilted upwards so the screen can be seen by a user that is standing with the device on a surface such as a counter. This appears to be the case in the image found by AFTV.

The addition of a touch screen to this voice-activated hit could work to challenge the smart tablet market, as well as to bring about the death of the landline. (It’s been a long time coming.)

Players in the voice-activated device space have rumored to be looking for ways to incorporate voice calling capability. Add video chatting to the list once a screen is in the mix.

Some eight million Amazon Echo devices have sold since its 2016 launch. By the end of this year, data projects that some 24.5 million new voice-enabled devices— including Amazon, Google and others’ contributions — will ship in 2017.

How the market will react to screens on the Amazon Echo is an open question. A screen could also make it easier for users to digest content like weather forecasts, calendar appointments and news bulletins.

We may not have to wait too long to find out. AFTV suggests that the product featured in the image could be released within the month.

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