Amazon put speculation to bed Tuesday (May 9) when it officially rolled out the Echo Show, a smart echo speaker with a screen that is powered by its voice-activated personal assistant, Alexa.
On its website Amazon announced it is accepting preorders for the device that goes for $229.99 and will be shipped on June 28. The device comes in black and white and boasts a 7-inch touchscreen, stereo speakers and the microphone for voice commands. The device weighs 41 ounces. If users buy two Echo Show devices, it will cost them $100 less. Amazon said on its website that with the device, consumers can watch video flash briefings and YouTube and see music lyrics, security cameras, photos, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists, and more.
Amazon’s latest edition to the Echo line of voice-activated speakers comes a day after Microsoft got into the game, partnering with Harman to launch a speaker powered by Cortana, Microsoft’s voice-activated personal assistant. In a press release, Harman, a unit of Samsung Electronics, said it’s combining its expertise in audio with Microsoft’s intelligence built into its digital personal assistant, Cortana, to launch the Invoke speaker. The device, like the other ones on the market from Amazon and Alphabet’s Google, are aimed at busy people trying to juggle work and home life.
“We’re excited to work with Microsoft to develop a premium speaker that will deliver an exceptional experience to every customer using 360-degree Harman Kardon sound and the intelligence of Cortana,” said Michael Mauser, president, lifestyle audio division at Harman, in a press release announcing details of the new voice-activated personal assistant speaker. “Voice-enabled technology is the future; by teaming up with Microsoft, we’re delivering on our promise of elevating a connected life through smart technology, superior sound and the stunning design that is Harman Kardon’s hallmark.”