Some time ago now, Amazon introduced us all to the Echo, and perhaps more importantly Alexa, the virtual assistant that powers the whole show. As for the hardware that gave Alexa her first home, the Amazon Echo was a Bluetooth speaker that would also connect to your home network and provide you with answer to all sorts of things, as well as offer up home automation, too. They’ve just been on sale for Black Friday, and now have all kinds of integrations to offer much better control of connected devices and allow you to do more than ever with nothing more than just your voice. This being Amazon, however, it doesn’t appear as though the original formula of the Echo is going to stay the same for long.
A report from Bloomberg states that the next version of the Echo might feature a large touchscreen, perhaps as big as 7-inches. This isn’t the first time that such a device has been heard of, with it being rumored much earlier in the year with the codename of “Knight”. Bloomberg, in their report, is citing someone familiar with the matter, and while they didn’t want to be named they also mused about “high-grade” speakers to be included in the new Echo, too. For Amazon, such a device is likely a better way of them further controlling the home. Hardware such as the original Kindle and their range of Fire tablets have kept their brand in the minds of millions of customers, as well as guaranteeing a steady stream of income, too. The Echo furthered this, by making it easy to purchase things from the online store, but by opening Alexa up to everyone and anyone, they’ve got a solid platform on their hands, one that users appears to be quite fond of.
With the Google Home now making its way into people’s living rooms and kitchens, a touchscreen Echo, perhaps with some rudimentary apps could make such a speaker more familiar to users that feel uncomfortable talking to a speaker, or just want some visual feedback to go along with their commands. Either way, the fight for the connected home is getting more and more fierce, and while Amazon has been in the lead a little longer, Google won’t be content to leave it to their rival, leaving Amazon little choice but to push ahead with new and improved products.