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Amazon Echo Show Brings Images to Voice Control

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Amazon Echo with Touch Screen Amazon Echo with Touch Screen

The Echo Show also includes Dolby-powered speakers for music playback for "crisp vocals and dynamic bass response".

The e-commerce giant has been encouraging more companies to develop their "skills" as Amazon looks to make the service more intelligent.

Just as the Amazon Echo appears poised to maintain its dominance of the voice-activated connected intelligence device category, it's now ready to make another leap in that space by adding a screen to the mix.

Nonetheless, Goertz said Amazon's reputation for introducing disruptive technologies and its massive size could challenge networking providers like Cisco and Avaya. The company has also launched a promotion for the launch of the speaker to let buyers save $100 for ordering two Echo Show devices.

The Echo Show has prompted some privacy concerns as well as controversy about whether Amazon ripped off a partner's product to build the Echo Show. But since then, the products have remained top sellers on Amazon's site, though the company would not say how many it has sold. Clones have popped up, mostly notably the Google Home, the Lenovo Smart Assistant and - just this week - the Cortana-backed Harman Kardon Invoke.

Still, many have struggled to catch up to Amazon.

Other analysts suggest that voice assistants are in the "first innings", meaning it is early days for the technology and Amazon's Alexa is, in fact, taking a lead. Home Hub will also be able to distinguish between different users in a similar way that Google's Home speaker does it. The research firm eMarketer expects usage of such speakers to more than double this year, with almost 36 million Americans using such a device at least once a month by year's end.

Just a few days ago we presented leaks of the mysterious Amazon speaker.

The device is not a smartphone replacement, but you can do nearly everything that you do with a smartphone. Its guidelines state that adverts can only be placed in music/radio streaming or flash briefing skills, along with a barrier on conversations with it. But Goertz conceded that enterprises considering Echo Show for videoconferencing and unified communications could face some problems. Listening to radio or on-demand music services is the most widely reported use of Echo and 71% of users say the device means they are listening more. And in addition to controlling lights and various other smart devices, now you can pull up a video camera feed from elsewhere in your home. Limp said there was no technical limitation that would prevent Amazon from connecting a phone number to an Echo device that would allow them to be reached by people with telephones. Amazon will be able to offer enterprises commodity, low-cost pricing and low-cost operating expenses that companies like Polycom and Cisco don't touch, he argued.

"We need to understand accents", he said.

What do you think about Alexa calling and messaging?

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