Amazon has officially announced the newest entry in their Echo series, the Echo Show. The Show is a lot like the other personal assistant devices that Amazon has been rolling out for the last couple of years only this one has a seven inch screen that can display photos, videos and do video calls (as long as both parties have the Alexa app). The Show is now up for preorder on Amazon's site and will retail for $229.99.
My wife and I bought an Amazon Echo Dot around Christmas last year, and have used it just about every day since. There's no question having a hands free device in the kitchen is a great idea. Being able to launch into a Spotify playlist while making dinner, or getting an NPR news briefing while making coffee has quickly become daily rituals for my wife and I. Even the ability to have Alexa add items to our grocery list has made life much easier. One can imagine how useful having a screen on one of these assistants would be when trying a new recipe, or just wanting to have a video playing while making dinner.
I'm not exactly in love with with how the Show looks. You can get one in either black or white, but the form factor kind of strikes me as clunky, like some kind of device from the early 2000's. It makes we wish Apple would get into the game and start making AI driven, personal assistant devices of their own. It feels like every year they stay out of the game is a year that Google and Amazon are collecting droves of useful data from their consumers and building an insurmountable head start in what is the most interesting new product space of this decade.