According to a report today from Bloomberg, Amazon is planning a premium “Echo-like” speaker powered by the company’s voice assistant Alexa. While the company building on its Echo success with a new speaker wouldn’t be surprising by itself, this one has a twist: it’s said to sport a large display…
The report notes that the new device will have a touchscreen that measures somewhere in the realm of seven inches, and that this display will “tilt upwards so the screen can be seen when it sits on a counter.” This tablet-like device is definitely a change in form factor from the original Echo, and will make it “easier to access content” Bloomberg’s sources say.
The new device will have a touchscreen measuring about seven inches, a major departure from Amazon’s existing cylindrical home devices that are controlled and respond mostly through the company’s voice-based Alexa digital assistant, according to two people familiar with the matter.
While details about “Knight” (WSJ reported that Amazon was working on a Alexa-powered tablet by this name earlier this year) are still pretty scarce at this point, the report notes that the device will have “high-grade” speakers that will sound a lot better than the current generation of Echo devices. It’s said to be announced sometime early next year, perhaps before the end of the first quarter.
Google just launched its Google Home speaker (check out our full review) powered by Google Assistant, which is in some ways inferior and still playing catch-up to Amazon’s Echo assistant that first launched a couple of years ago. Apple, on the other hand, is still planning its entrance into the Echo-like assistant market, with a device that would be powered by Siri.
While the likes of Google and Apple are clearly catching up quickly, Amazon is the veteran in this space, and it will be interesting to see where it takes the Alexa-powered platform come next year.