We’re hearing that Amazon is launching its long-rumoured touchscreen Echo voice assistant device as early as Tuesday morning. The news was originally reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Images of the device were leaked last week by Evan Blass:
This device will have a focus on shopping, we hear, making it easier for people to buy things from Amazon with your voice — tell the Alexa virtual assistant what you’d like to buy, and options will appear on the screen. It will also have the ability to make and receive both phone and video calls, though it may have limited capabilities on that front at first.
Amazon declined to comment.
The Wall Street Journal also says that this new Echo will be priced at over $US200, confirming earlier reports. The original Echo is priced at $US180, while the smaller Echo Dot sells for $US50, and the Echo Tap battery-powered unit goes for $US130. In late April, Amazon unveiled the Echo Look, which sports a camera to judge your outfits, for $US200.
This new Echo looks to enhance the versatility of the Alexa voice assistant amid mounting pressure from rivals like the Google Home and the just-unveiled Harmon Invoke, a smart speaker powered by Microsoft’s Cortana. Launching new hardware has the potential to expand the Alexa ecosystem and stake early claims in customers’ homes.