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Amazon Said to Plan Premium Alexa Speaker With Large Screen

30 November 2016

From Bloomberg Technology:

Amazon.com Inc. is developing a premium Echo-like speaker with a screen, a sign the world’s largest online retailer is trying to capitalize on the surprise success of its voice-controlled home gadgets and fend off competition from Google and Apple Inc.

The new device will have a touchscreen measuring about seven inches, a major departure from Amazon’s existing cylindrical home devices that are controlled and respond mostly through the company’s voice-based Alexa digital assistant, according to two people familiar with the matter. This will make it easier to access content such as weather forecasts, calendar appointments, and news, the people said. They asked not to be identified speaking about a product that has yet to be announced.

. . . .

High-grade speakers will make the gadget sound much better than current Echo devices, this person also said. Amazon’s new device is scheduled to be announced as soon as the first quarter of 2017, this person added. Amazon, based in Seattle, Washington, declined to comment.

Link to the rest at Bloomberg Technology

Amazon has already announced that voice-controlled devices – Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote and Echo, all featuring Alexa were, along with Fire tablets, the best-selling products from any manufacturer across all of Amazon on Thanksgiving weekend/Cyber Monday – so doing more in that area would seem to be a no-brainer.

Around Casa PG, Alexa is definitely better-informed on most subjects than PG is.

 

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4 Comments to “Amazon Said to Plan Premium Alexa Speaker With Large Screen”

  1. So far, this sounds like a product I don’t need/want. The speaker on the Echo sounds quite good to me, but I’m no expert. Adding a screen *might* be good if it displays recipes.

  2. I can see this being an improvement.

    I find the Echo frustrating when I want to browse a large music collection (my own uploaded albums or Amazon’s Prime/unlimited). I often find myself opening the Amazon Music app (the Alexa app is very weak on browsing and searching) to choose an album I want to listen to, then speaking my selection to the Echo to get it to play there. In some cases, getting the right words for the album I wanted has been frustrating. Once I’ve found what I want on a screen, I rather wish I could simply “cast” it, Google-style, to the Echo.

    • I have had trouble once in a while getting the wording right (I think it has happened only with sound tracks from movies, but not sure). Other albums seemed not to register at all with Alexa. Once I put my music purchases into my music library, I had better luck getting Alexa to know where to look. I don’t listen to music very often so kinks in the process was never a big problem.

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