The rumors that Amazon is working on a version of its Echo smart speaker that has a display have been swirling for about a year, but nothing has come to fruition yet.
According to the report, which cites the good old person “familiar with the matter,” the new device (alongside the Echo Look) may be a reaction to Google’s Home getting better than the Echo with some regards, such as distinguishing between several users. Amazon wants to launch the new device as soon as next month, according to the report, but the timing may change.
There are no new details about the product, codenamed “Knight, beyond the obvious — a screen would open up the possibility of video chatting as well as online shopping. A WSJ report in Nov. 2016 said the device would have a 7-inch screen, improved speakers, and a new design, which would resemble a tablet on a stand instead of the standard cylinder shape.
CNET does quote a few analysts which say the screen could improve the gadget’s understanding of user queries, as well as improve the experience with a combination of voice and visual output.
While a screen-adorned Echo seems like a logical continuation of the smart assistant idea, rushing anything into the market just to stay ahead of the competition could be a mistake. But the assistant war is definitely heating up; in the last month or so, Google has been adding features to the Home on a weekly basis. We probably won’t be waiting very long for Amazon’s response.