Report: Amazon Working On An Alexa-Controlled Speaker With A Touchscreen

Image courtesy of Mike Seyfang

Are we heading toward a future where you control everything in your home by speaking to a disembodied voice? Amazon certainly seems to be going in that direction, with a new report that it’s working on a premium speaker powered by Alexa, a sort of souped-up Echo, featuring a large screen.

According to a report from Bloomberg, citing those ever-mysterious “people familiar with the matter,” the new technology will feature a seven-inch touchscreen, which is a departure from Amazon’s current lineup of screen-free Echo devices.

A screen will help users access content like weather forecasts, calendars, and news, the insiders said. The device will also be larger, and tilt upwards so the screen is visible when it’s sitting on a counter and the user is standing. Alexa will sound better as well, as the new tech will have high-grade speakers, one of the insiders explained.

So when can we expect to see this new speaker hit the market? The screen-speaker combination is expected to be announced as soon as the first quarter of 2017, and will likely be priced much higher than Amazon’s current speakers (which cost $50, $130, and $180).

If the report is true, this could be a sign that Amazon is inching toward that sci-fi reality where everything you do in your home — from watching TV to shopping for toilet paper — can be accomplished by speaking to one device that’s connected to everything.

Amazon has some competition in this arena: Google is pushing its Home speaker, while Apple is reportedly working on its own home device controlled by its Siri digital assistant.

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