Amazon has just announced a brand new member of its Alexa-enabled smart device family that effectively squeezes some Amazon Echo Show functionality into a much smaller form factor. This new Echo device was announced at Amazon’s event this morning alongside the all new Echo Plus, and the new Echo 2nd Gen. Called the Amazon Echo Spot, the device features a camera, built-in audio, and a screen and starts out with a $130 price-point – making it a more economically feasible option for those who can’t quite bring themselves to spend the extra $100 for its bigger brother. As of this writing, Amazon’s latest device is expected to begin shipping on December 19th in the U.S., just in time for the holiday season, and it’s already available for pre-order on Amazon’s website. Amazon says it will be available in the U.K. and Germany early next year.
As to the purpose of the Echo Spot, Amazon has shown the device functioning as a kind of connected alarm clock, which displays the time, weather, and more. That will certainly not be its only use, but the use case example makes sense since the half-sphere-shaped device itself is just large enough to house a 2.5-inch display, and because the Echo Spot does have built-in speakers, which would allow it to provide alarms just like a more traditional alarm clock – although it should also be able to provide other reminders much more easily as well, owing to its connectivity features. Unfortunately, the built-in speakers are also bound to be somewhat less powerful, in terms of output compared to other Echo options. That’s mostly down to the fact that it is similar in size to the Amazon Echo Dot. Thankfully, the small scale of the built-in audio shouldn’t present too much of an issue since the Echo Spot is also supplemented by audio output ports at the back. However, the inclusion of a camera means that even without using those, it could still be a great option for conducting video calls or for use as an intercom-type system between multiple rooms.
Bearing that in mind, it probably won’t serve much use as a way to take in any kind of streaming media because of its size. Aside from those things, and as mentioned above, the Echo Spot is Amazon-Alexa enabled. That means it can be used to control a plethora of connected smart devices as well. The device will be available in White or Black color options as well allowing consumers to choose which color fits them best.