Amazon's Echo is already an incredibly useful device, but an even more versatile version of the gadget equipped with a screen may be coming next month, according to industry sources. Information on the device itself is scant but sources said that it could be unveiled as early as next month. That, of course, could be subject to change. The device is apparently internally codenamed "Knight" and has been making its way around the rumor mill since last year. Early reports on the Knight claimed it will feature a 7-inch touchscreen, allowing the device to show a full range of content if an Echo owner wants to use it for that purpose. An Echo variant with both a screen and a camera, following up on the new Echo Look, could also conceivably be on the cards, according to some industry analysts.
The implications of a screen-equipped Amazon Echo are relatively obvious in the context of online shopping and home monitoring, but its potential applications wouldn't stop there. Showing pictures of objects from the internet, video chatting, and displaying media content are just a few possible uses for a screen on the Echo. The implementation would likely end up being similar to existing Amazon devices that are infused with the Alexa artificial intelligence (AI) and have screens, such as Amazon's Fire Tablet family. These devices display additional information about queries on their screens and have options to help cut down on misunderstood queries and commands.
Amazon has recently been working on expanding the Echo ecosystem and capabilities but was reportedly taken aback when Google revealed multi-user functionality for Google Home, a feature that the Amazon Echo couldn't match. Amazon will reportedly work on getting new products out faster to compete with Google, previous reports have indicated. An Amazon Echo with a screen would indeed put Amazon ahead of Google in the smart assistant entrenchment race as both already have their assistants available on a wide range of devices, from tablets to TV sticks. While it remains to be seen whether the Seattle-based company truly ends up unveiling a new version of the Echo with a display panel, an update on the situation might follow shortly.