You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Amazon Announces New Echo Show With Touch Screen, Introduces Alexa Calling

Amazon added another device to its family of Echo speakers Tuesday with the introduction of the Echo Show, a smart speaker with an integrated 7-inch touchscreen that will go on sale for $229.99 at the end of next month. The company also introduced a new voice and video calling service that connects existing Echo speakers with the new Echo Show and mobile devices.

The Echo Show is in many ways similar to the existing Echo. It features seven microphones to take voice commands from across the room, is integrated with music services like Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn and Amazon’s own Prime Music, and can be used for a wide variety of tasks, from reading the news or weather report to controlling smart lightbulbs and calling an Uber.

With the addition of the screen, Amazon is also adding support for videos from YouTube, Bloomberg, CNN and its own Prime Video service. The screen can also display photo slideshows, and give visual feedback to a range of other voice commands. Hulu and Netflix aren’t available on the device at this time, a spokesperson told Variety Tuesday. “But we’d love to have them create a skill for Echo Show,” he added.

But perhaps the biggest selling point is video calling. Amazon officially introduced a new voice and video calling service dubbed Alexa Calling Tuesday, which allows Echo Show owners to video call each other with simple voice commands.

Users can also set their device to automatically allow trusted contacts to “drop in,” which automatically launches the video feed of the caller on the receiving device as a kind of preview — similar to the “knock knock” feature that Google introduced with its Duo video calling app last year. And Amazon is adding video calling to its Alexa mobile app, so Android and iOS users can connect with Echo Show owners where ever they are.

What’s more, Amazon is also bringing audio calling to existing Echo and Echo Dot speakers with a firmware update. Alexa Calling is available on these existing devices effective immediately, allowing users to call each other other leave messages for another.

There’s no interconnection to the existing phone network yet — for now anyway. Amazon also didn’t reveal whether it will add Alexa Calling to other devices with Alexa integration, which include anything from TVs to fridges to car dashboards. But there’s some clear potential here for Amazon to use voice and video calling as a way to get consumers to embrace Alexa everywhere.

More Digital


    Dax Shepard, Bobby Bones, 'Breakfast Club' Among iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Winners

    iHeartRadio launched its first ever Podcast Awards on Friday (January 18) in Los Angeles. Among the winners in 22 categories were “Whine Down with Jana Kramer” (Best Entertainment TV Podcast); “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard (Breakout Podcast); “Bobbycast” (Music Podcast); and “The Breakfast Club” (Best Multicultural Podcast). The winners were determined by iHeartRadio listeners. Taking the top prize of Podcast [...]

  • Velvet Buzzsaw trailer

    Netflix Original Movies: What to Look Forward To in 2019

    Following the biggest fourth-quarter worldwide subscriber gain ever and some controversy around increased prices in the U.S., Netflix looks to keep its momentum going into 2019. From Jan. 18 through March, the streaming site will release 10 original films, including action-packed thrillers, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi, quirky comedies, inspirational dramas, an artistic horror movie and a viral [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Release of Docs to Reveal How Facebook Made Money Off Children

    Documents related to a 2012 lawsuit against Facebook in which children, sometimes unwittingly, spent their parents’ money on games via the social site will be unsealed, according to a Monday ruling from the United States District Court. The court gave Facebook ten days to file unredacted documents in accordance with the ruling. The 2012 lawsuit [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Sets Up New Product Group for AR Glasses (Report)

    Facebook has restructured its augmented and virtual reality research division and set up a new group tasked with building augmented reality (AR) glasses, according to a new Business Insider report. Facebook acknowledged the move in a statement given to the publication, saying that the move affected “a few hundred people.” The group has already built [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content