Today, Amazon unveiled the new Echo flagship device. The Echo Show is the first Echo device to sport a multitouch screen
To put this in context, before we go any further, here are some numbers from a recent eMarketer study:
This year, 35.6 million Americans will use a voice-activated assistant device at least once a month. That’s a jump of 128.9% over last year.
Amazon’s Echo speaker will have 70.6% of users. Meanwhile, Google Home will trail far behind with just 23.8% of the market. The remaining portion will be shared among smaller players, such as Lenovo, LG, Harmon Kardon and Mattel. […]
This year, 60.5 million Americans will use Siri, Cortana or another virtual assistant at least once a month. That equates to 27.5% of smartphone users, or nearly one-fifth of the population.
The heaviest users of digital assistants are people between the ages of 25 and 34. They represent 26.3% of virtual assistant users. In terms of generation, more than one-third of millennials (33.5%) will use a virtual assistant this year.
This category is not small anymore and Amazon, still, owns it. This is why Amazon is pushing this relentlessly: If they own voice they can leverage that to go upstream, meaning building a general interest computing platform. And that includes a multitouch screen.
Available 28th of June, the Echo Show can be bought discounted in two packs ’cause it takes two to Tango:
It’s available to pre-order now for $229.99 in the US. You can save $100 if you order two using promocode SHOW2PACK.
Here’s the thing: Amazon is, with Alexa, building a computing platform to own the home.
And they are going to wrap a social network around it. If Amazon’s Twitch Pulse will become the company’s Twitter, this will become Amazon’s Facebook:
The Echo Show can make hands-free video calls to other Echo Shows or the Alexa App. You can say “Alexa, call Mom” or “Alexa, answer the call” to send and receive video calls. You can also use the Echo Show to send messages. All calls and messaging are free.
That is a big deal: Amazon is turning its mobile Alexa app for iOS and Android into a messaging app. Combined with the ascending Alexa ecosystem this has potential. (Potential were other new messengers, like Google’s Allo for example, don’t have any.)
The built-in camera can also be used to check in on family through a feature called Drop In. Details are still sparse, but it appears you can select certain contacts to see your availability and grant quicker access to video calls. The Echo Show will also work with security cameras from Arlo and Ring to show you live feeds by saying things like “Alexa, show me the front door.”
TechCrunch on the potential for this platform play by Amazon:
there are so many more things that this can lead to: for example, it’s just a small leap between the small screen of today’s device, and a larger console that can replace the main TV in the room. Considering Amazon’s other efforts in media, specifically with Prime Video and its Fire Stick to enable on-demand channels and Amazon services, you can see (literally and figuratively) where this might be going.
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