Published: Wed, May 10, 2017
Business | By Cristina Jennings

Amazon unveils Echo Show with touchscreen, video call capabilities

Amazon unveils Echo Show with touchscreen, video call capabilities

We had been hearing reports recently that Amazon has a new Echo product in the pipeline. While you can already do that in a large number of ways, it might be easiest on the Echo Show, it's already sitting there on your counter.

Amazon's calling and messaging could be used regardless of phone or laptop operating systems, with Alexa being the uniting platform. The e-commerce giant is also discounting its original Echo Smart Speaker. The display allows you to make quick video calls.

Like past Echo devices, the Echo Show can connect to Pandora or Spotify accounts as well.

It will play videos from sources such as Amazon Video and YouTube or news sites. The new feature will not support calls to any landlines, or smartphones that don't have the Alexa app. It's capable of showing notifications, playing internet video, showing lyrics on Amazon Music, and it can also allow conversations between different devices in the same house. The Echo Show has a 7-inch touchscreen and a front-facing camera.

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Amazon has also taken this opportunity to add voice and video calls to Alexa. When your Echo gets a message, you'll hear a chime and see a green light ring on your device.

The Echo Show includes Dolby-powered speakers for music playback with supposed 'crisp vocals and dynamic bass response.' The device uses eight beam forming microphones to pick up your voice from any direction. But if you want Alexa's new calling features on a budget, you can pick up the Echo Dot for just $49.99 or use the free Alexa app for your smartphone or tablet. The update could help cement the Echo's position as a centerpiece of the home.

Amazon is enjoying a huge market share lead in the smart speaker market in the United States, a research firm has claimed.

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