Home automation and smart home technologies are the new crazes in the tech world. With all the big companies talking about the Internet of Things (IoT) and a future where all our devices will be connected to one another, Amazon is paving the way to bring smart home devices into your house. The Echo Show is their newest smart home device and it aims to be the center of all your connected electronics devices. Also check The Future of Technology At Google I/O.
What is the Echo Show? The Show fuses the smarts of Amazon’s award winning Echo speaker with a 7-inch touchscreen and 5-megapixel camera to create a smart home device that is viewed as the centerpiece of your automated home. It looks a bit like an old school TV but with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant as well as a 7-inch touchscreen. The Show has a number of cool features which would not otherwise be possible without a touchscreen. You can get much more out of your typical Alexa queries for instance as the screen is used to display more detailed information.
For example, if you ask the Show to play songs from Amazon Music, the lyrics of the song are automatically displayed on the screen. Want to know the recipe for some delicious brownies? The Show will “show” them to you as you follow along. Want to watch cat videos while you eat breakfast? The Show will play them for you from YouTube or Amazon Video. The most interesting feature of the Echo Show is its ability to make voice and video calls using the front camera. These calls are made over the internet and can be directed to any contact who has a compatible Amazon Echo product or anyone using the Alexa application.
By now you may have noticed a trend. All these features attempt to push you to use Amazon’s own services. For instance, if you want to use the Echo Show as a smart photo frame, you will have to use Amazon’s Prime Photos service. On top of that, the Echo line of products are all very friendly with other well-known smart home kits/devices such as Philips Hue, Samsung Smart Things and Ring, just to name a few. Amazon wants their Echo products to be in your every room and the Show is the control center of all your connected devices.
The Amazon Echo Show costs $229 and is only available for pre-orders in the US right now. It is expected to reach other major markets soon. For those of us who do not live in any of the supported countries, there may still be hope. Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot smart speakers are not supported in countries like Bangladesh but with some GPS spoofing and a VPN, they can be made to work anywhere. There is a good reason to believe that the Echo Show can also be made to work outside supported regions with very little effort so smart home enthusiasts around the globe can rejoice.