Amazon’s touchscreen Echo may debut tomorrow, belies launch of telephony service
Full details have spilled out from The Wall Street Journal on Amazon’s plans to debut an Echo speaker with a 7-inch touchscreen. Pictures of the device, codenamed “Knight,” leaked out last week, but we’re now putting names to the puzzle pieces.
The device would provide users with visual access and manipulation to results from queries to Alexa. A large speaker below the screen, a camera and at least one microphone would allow VoIP and video calls to be made with the device using Amazon’s own telephone service, sources say. The service would roll out gradually and begin with connections between Echo devices. It is not expected to contain a cellular component.
The device could also feature the same software found with another recent piece of Alexa-enabled hardware, the Echo Look. The product is touted to track users’ outfits and, through algorithms and input from fashion experts, give users a second opinion on them.
The new Echo device may debut as early as tomorrow and is expected to preempt sales Microsoft’s new smart speaker, the Cortana-powered Invoke, which will begin sales this fall. Pricing is said to above the $200 level.