Amazon Echo With a Built-in Screen May be Revealed Next Month

The Amazon Echo family may get even bigger.

Amazon will likely reveal a new Echo device with a built-in screen next month, a person familiar with the plans told CNET. This information comes just after Amazon on Wednesday introduced the Echo Look, a smart speaker with a built-in camera.

The person said Amazon had been working to more fully develop its Echo devices, but it appeared to get a “wake-up call” last week after Google said its Home smart speakers can now identify multiple users, a feature Echo devices don’t have. Amazon’s devices team may now be looking to speed up introduction of these products so they can stay ahead of Google, the person added.

Timing on the new Echo device’s introduction may change, the person said. An Amazon representative declined to comment for this story.

The rush to get out a new version of its hit speaker underscores the fierce battle raging to dominate your home and connected devices. While Amazon enjoyed a significant lead in getting its Echo into homes and has aggressively built up the capabilities of its Alexa voice assistant, Google is coming on strong with its own Home speaker. Whichever companies are able to dominate will be able to embed their products deeply into people’s lives for years to come.

The new device may help Amazon expand and improve the Echo’s capabilities in more areas, including video chats and online shopping, making the gadget more of a must-have item for homes.

Amazon sold an estimated 8 million Echo devices in the US since the product first launched, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners said in January.

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SOURCE: Cnet, Ben Fox Rubin