Amazon is building a new wall-mounted Echo, a smart touchscreen display that would act as a hub for family organization, smart home technology, media and more. Alexa has found its way into several generations of smart displays, although so far they have been designed to sit on kitchen counters, tables and nightstands.
This did not prevent some attractive features, see. The latest Echo Show 10, for example, has a motorized rotating base, which can rotate to ensure that the user can still see the recipe, video or video call being displayed on its 10 inch display.
In contrast, the built-in Echo touchscreen in progress would be designed to be fixed in place. Manual labor from Amazon’s Lab126 hardware division, according to sources who spoke to Bloomberg, it would function as an installed interface for Amazon’s growing footprint in connected homes. In the process, it could also allow Alexa to function as a platform to compete better with more established smart home companies.
The touch screens embedded in the wall are usually preserved in pre-installation systems, such as those by Crestron and Control4. Although powerful in their capabilities, they do require professional installation that can be relatively expensive and time-consuming, even though the end result can be simplified – both visually and in operation – than DIY IoT efforts.
We have seen attempts to bridge this divide before. Several companies offer ways to mount tablets such as iPads and Android whiteboards on the wall on special stands; there have also been attempts to update the light switch with touchscreen versions. The Brilliant smart home controller, for example, can replace the traditional single-group light switch with a compact touch screen for control in multiple rooms.
Amazon’s new Echo wall touchscreen, still unnamed, would be considerably thinner than current models on the Echo Show, it is said. The company is believed to be working in several different sizes, with 10 and 13 inches considered. Both have microphones, speakers and a video call camera.
Amazon could offer one, or both, or none of these sizes, it is pointed out. The $ 200 to $ 250 price points were discussed, with a possible launch in late 2021 or late 2022.
Although unconfirmed – with an Amazon spokesman refusing to comment on the leaks – it would be an understandable expansion for the company. Increasingly, home automation fans are expecting not only voice assistant support in multiple rooms, but more streamlined ways to interact with complex IoT systems that can span media streaming, lights, curtains, locks, cameras and more . While this is only possible by voice, more advanced systems will inevitably benefit from a monitor to interact with, and Amazon’s existing Echo Show models already have a special smart home control panel interface to do just that.
Meanwhile, the physical installation would make incorporating Alexa into the home even more sticky. Unlike speakers and smart screens, which can be disconnected and switched if users decide to give, say, Google Assistant or Apple’s Siri instead, replacing a touchscreen built into the wall would be a much more perspective complicated.