By Gerald Lynch
Amazon’s Echo Show is a curious device – taking the unique selling point of the voice-only Alexa powered Echo speaker family, and pairing it up with a touchscreen interface.
As many are left wondering what separates the Echo Show from a tablet with a kickstand (considering all iPads have the Siri voice assistant, Android tablets make use of the Google Assistant and Amazon’s own Fire slates already have Alexa built in, Amazon has today revealed a series of videos showing off how the Show will complement voice control with visual feedback.
The first video (embedded below) describes how music playback will work on the Echo Show:
For a search for the artists Sia, for instance, you’d be presented with a screen displaying album artwork, each numbered. Stating “Alexa, play number 3″ would start that album playing. A video on Alexa’s movie info search works in a similar fashion (with posters and trailers supplanting album artwork), while a shopping list function offered the option to scroll through lengthy lists by voice command alone.
The videos essentially highlight the hands-off nature of the Echo Show – few touchscreen buttons are present, all navigation can be handled by voice, and text is displayed in a large enough font to be read at a distance.
For Amazon’s Alexa system to advance, its machine learning feedback will require continued, varied voice input from millions of users. The Echo Show may have a screen, but it’s clear that Amazon still wants to hear your voice as it looks to improve its virtual assistant’s recognition capabilities longterm.
There are a further three videos if you’re interested – click through for a look at how the Show handles requests for what’s playing at cinemas, here for browsing shopping lists and here for setting alarms and do not disturb parameters.
- Here’s everything we know so far about the Amazon Echo Show