Amazon gives voice-enabled speaker a screen, video calling

Amazon gives voice-enabled speaker a screen, video calling

Amazon gives voice-enabled speaker a screen, video calling

Plus, Amazon is introducing a new chat service that lets you call anyone else with a supported Echo device or the Alexa app. Amazon is selling the Echo Show for $299.99.

The 7-inch screen on the new Echo Show enables the speaker to supplement voice responses with visuals and other information displays, similar to the Echo-like features on the Fire tablets and Fire TV streaming devices.

It also allows closed captioning, so that when you ask Alexa a question, you can see the answer, as well as hear it.

Additionally, the device will come equipped with the ability to make free video calls to friends or family members who have an Echo or the Alexa App.

On Monday Microsoft said it worked with Samsung to build a call-enabled speaker featuring Cortana, the Seattle-based company's virtual assistant. The screen will also allow users to monitor a front-door cam, or a video camera placed inside a baby's room.

Amazon Echo Show is now available for pre orders. The research firm also expects that the number of users will double to 35.6 million this year.

Amazon debuted its first Echo product in late 2014 and largely had the market to itself for more than a year. But most interestingly, perhaps, is how this takes Amazon ahead of Google, and the Home device, in the development of these household devices. So far, Amazon doesn't have a comparable voice-recognition feature.

But perhaps the biggest selling point is video calling. "Knight" would be the second Echo device to include a camera, following the launch of Amazon's Echo Look in April.

Fore more, head over to Amazon's Alexa calling and messaging site.

In terms of connectivity, the Echo Show can link up to smart home products including Ring, WeMo, Philips Hue, SmartThings, ecobee, and Wink, among others. For customers who buy 2, Amazon is offering $100 off using the coupon code SHOW2PACK at checkout.

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