Amazon has redesigned its Echo Show 10 – its Alexa-enabled smart speaker with a built-in touchscreen. The upgraded Echo Show keeps the same 10-inch screen size as previous models, but now has a slimmer frame and a motorised swivel system that enables the display to reposition itself so that it’s always facing you. Amazon has worked hard to ensure that motor is completely silent, so you won’t have to listen to any whirring as it moves. The reveal of the redesigned Echo Show 10 came as part of Amazon’s annual devices event, which was streamed from the online shopping firm’s headquarters in Seattle.
As mentioned above, the headline feature of the new Echo Show 10 is the ability to follow you around the room. And yes, you did read that correctly.
As you talk to Alexa, the touchscreen display on the Echo Show 10 will swivel around so that it’s always in the right position for you to quickly glance and check your timers, the latest weather report, or the episode of The Grand Tour that you’re streaming from Amazon Prime Video. This nifty swivel system also means you’ll stay in-frame during a video call – no more need for relatives to crane their necks to watch you disappear as you potter around the home.
Not only that, but some of the speaker components inside the Echo Show 10 also move around when the display turns to face you. This means you’ll always get the best audio experience when the touchscreen is aimed towards you. The new system seems to be an evolution of the ring of lights at the top of previous Amazon Echo speakers – these lit-up in the direction it thought your voice was coming from as a way to show who it was listening to.
Amazon says all of the tracking smarts, which allows the Echo Show 10 to judge where you are in the room and angle its display towards you, is powered locally (i.e. on the device itself) so there shouldn’t be any privacy concerns. According to Amazon, there’s no facial recognition either, so you don’t need to worry about that. Instead, Amazon’s refreshed Echo Show 10 only knows that someone is present in the room and talking to it from a certain direct. As you’d expect, you can switch off the motion tracking if you’d rather keep the device stationary.
After Alexa has swivelled the touchscreen to show-off the weather for the week, or live video feed from the smart security cameras, it was return to a neutral foward-facing position.
Alexa app users who are away from home can manually take control of the moveable display to peer around the room – to check on the dog, or make sure that everything is exactly as you’ve left it. Echo Show 10 includes a dramatically upgraded 10-inch touchscreen display. This should make the Echo Show 10 a much better gadget for video – perfect as Amazon has now brought support for Zoom video calls and Netflix to the device.
Elsewhere, Echo Show 10 packs a 13-megapixel front-facing camera for improved video calls and selfies.
There’s also a Zigbee hub built-in, so you won’t need to plug any extra hubs into your router as you buy Philips Hue smart bulbs, or any number of other connected home gadgets – the Echo Show 10 handles all of the set-up so all of your new kit should work straight out of the box. Echo Show 10 starts from £239.99 and will be available in Charcoal and Glacier White. Unfortunately, there’s no release date for the UK quite yet.
Amazon revealed its new Echo Show 10 during its annual September gadget showcase event. The online shopping colossus uses this event to reveal a slew of new devices set to land on its digital shelves over the coming weeks.
As well as new hardware, Amazon often uses its keynote presentation, which was streamed online from its headquarters in Seattle this year due to the ongoing public health crisis, to reveal new software features to its talk-active Alexa voice assistant.
Amazon unveiled a completely redesigned Echo smart speaker with a new spherical design. The new speaker ditches the tall cylindrical design we’ve seen in previous years for a new mesh-covered sphere. The Echo Dot – the smallest and most affordable Alexa smart speaker, which is designed to be hooked-up to an existing sound system or interact with Alexa rather than listening to your favourite albums for hours on end – also benefits from the new spherical design. The Echo Dot With Clock has the same updated design.
Elsewhere, an upgraded Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite pack more power than previous models. Despite these speedier internals, the Fire TV Lite sports the lowest price tag we’ve seen on one of these HDMI streaming dongles from Amazon, starting at £29.99, which includes an Alexa Voice Remote to use the chatty AI assistant to search for shows and movies.
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