The touchscreen Amazon Echo might launch on Tuesday

Amazon might be about to launch Echo with a touchscreen as quickly as tomorrow. The phrase comes from the WSJ citing sources conversant in the matter. The brand new mannequin would characteristic a 7-inch touchscreen, show solutions to verbal questions and have internet-based phone calls.

Last week several sites posted images of a tool they claimed to be the upcoming Echo touchscreen speaker. The response was blended. Some praised the capabilities added by the touchscreen whereas others blasted the system, saying it’s ugly and appears dated. Both approach, such a tool with the described characteristic set would put Amazon in entrance of its chief rival of Google Residence.

The Echo is a improbable system. I’ve 4 all through my home. However the system is lacking options and the dearth of display screen generally is a limiting at instances. For example, it’s laborious to browse music catalogs by voice. Including a touchscreen might be useful for some customers.

The WSJ says this subsequent Echo will be capable to make phone and video calls. And because it’s frequent to position an Echo in a central location — like somebody would with a phone — including these options might assist sway some potential consumers into buying the system.

But there are challenges with a display screen not current on a headless system. App builders will now need to resolve if it is smart to develop a visible person interface. As Brian pointed out yesterday, third events have at all times been key in Amazon’s technique and it’s possible that may maintain true with this new system, too.

Amazon has a commanding place within the Echo’s market. A examine carried out by eMarketer says the maker of the Echo-branded audio system has 70.6 p.c of all voice-enabled speaker customers within the U.S. this yr. That’s effectively forward of Google Residence’s 23.eight p.c and different, smaller gamers like Lenovo, LG, Harman Kardon, and Mattel, who mixed solely account for five.6 p.c of customers. And Amazon is simply now getting its footing.

Amazon just released the Echo Look, a kind of Echo with a built-in webcam designed to assist select an individual’s clothes. Mixed with the opposite Echo gadgets, Amazon at present had 4 available on the market and if the WSJ’s report is true, a fifth is about to launch.