Amazon further distanced itself from Google with the launch of Echo Show, a voice-activated home smart assistant with a 7-inch touchscreen display.
With the 7-inch screen, homeowners will be able to sing along through the lyrics on display, monitor security cameras, read shopping lists, keep up with the news, or view photos and videos. They can also make hands-free video calls with paired devices.
Smart home devices are geared to become the next battleground for tech companies, with the industry estimated to hit almost $200 billion by 2021. But while Google, Apple, and the rest of the pack are still trying to catch up, Amazon has seemingly asserted its dominance with the announcement of its latest product.
Google’s answer to Alexa, dubbed as Home, was released a full two years after Amazon introduced its smart home devices. Microsoft’s own version was only released this week, while Apple has no timetable for their release.
Martin Utreras, vice president of forecasting at business digital data miner eMarketer, said that Alexa-powered Echo devices already corner 70% of the market compared to Google’s Home, which controls 23.8%. Amazon managed to do this by opening the ecosystem to third-party developers such as Ford, GE, and LG with their smart cars and appliances being able to link up with Alexa.
“Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with the technology, which is driving engagement,” the forecaster said. “As prices decrease and functionality increases, consumers are finding more reasons to adopt these devices.”
The Amazon Echo Show is seen to address previous gripes about its functionality. Pictures really do paint a thousand words, as users found it difficult to receive information provided by Alexa. Search results, for instance, are much easier to absorb when you read them instead of listening to each one being dictated to you.
However, surveys have shown that customers are under no illusion about the capacity of the smart home AI assistants to replace PCs, tablets, or mobile phones. In fact, according to the survey, homeowners don’t really want to see a web browser in the Amazon Echo Show or any other similar devices with a touchscreen display.
Instead, they want easy access to the clock, calendar, news headlines, weather, music, or entertainment, which only serves to affirm that homeowners want the innovation to enhance their experience in performing any voice-activated task.
Amazon’s Echo Show will be released in the U.S. on June 28, 2017, with a price tag of $229.99. Shipping will be free.