Amazon’s new $229.99 Echo Show is Jeff Bezos’ latest bid to own the smart home industry
Hey Alexa, do looks matter?
Amazon has introduced the Echo Show, a version of its popular Echo smart speaker that’s equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen display. The device is another step in Amazon’s bid to dominate the smart home: it streams footage from compatible cameras to your Echo while also allowing you to manage your light, heat and sound system from the interface. You can also make webcam calls via the front-facing five megapixel camera and an app built into the system (as of now, the Echo Show doesn’t work with Skype)
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On the more fun end of things, the new Echo also allows you to watch TV clips from Jeopardy! and sing along to the lyrics of songs streamed off Amazon Music or Pandora. Features already present on the existing Echo, such as the ability to set timers and integration with Alexa, Amazon’s intelligent personal assistant service are also included.
The Echo Show goes on sale June 28 for $229.99 and is available with either a black or white frame. Amazon is currently running a promotion in which customers get $100 off if they buy two of the devices with the code SHOW2PACK. The screenless Echo sells for $149.99 while the Echo Dot, a smaller and more limited version of the smart speaker, goes for $49.99.
The smart home industry is growing by leaps and bounds. Juniper Research estimates that sales will reach $83 billion this year and rise to $195 billion by 2021. As an early mover with its Echo and Echo Dot devices, Amazon is in a dominant position but some analysts forecast that Google Home may overtake Echo in market share by 2020. Among other exclusive features, Google Home devices come with capacity to search the world’s most widely used search engine, receive a personalized daily news briefing. The Echo Show is a bid to ensure that Amazon stays ahead.
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