EVERYTHING SELLER Amazon is reportedly gearing up to launch a touchscreen Echo device later today.
So says the Wall Street Journal, which has it on good authority that the new Amazon Echo gagdget will tout a 7in touchscreen display that will show information relevant to the most recent voice command or voice search, such as weather information or Amazon shopping results, naturally.
It'll also apparently be able to make telephone calls to other Echo devices, for some reason.
A seperate report claims the device will be called the 'Amazon Echo Show' and will carry a price tag of $229 (around £177). The firm will reportedly start taking pre-orders in the US immediately after its unveiling before the device goes on sale on 28 June.
An image of the so-called Echo Show appeared online last week (above), and confirms that the device will look like a portable telly from the 90s, or a failed iMac replica. The image also appears to show off a camera above the display, so it'll probably be able to watch you get dressed like the creepy Amazon Echo Look that launched last month.
News of Amazon launching a display-equipped Echo comes just days after Apple's Phil Schiller ripped into the firm's current voice assistant devices - largely because they don't come with a built-in screen.
"There's many moments where a voice assistant is really beneficial, but that doesn't mean you'd never want a screen. So the idea of not having a screen, I don't think suits many situations," Schiller said. "For example if I'm looking for directions and I'm using Maps, Siri can tell me those directions by voice and that's really convenient but it's even better if I can see that map, and I can see what turns are coming up.
"The biggest category of all of apps is games, and I have yet to see any voice-only games that, for me, are nearly as fun as the one that I play on my screen."
Apple is reportedly preparing to launch its own Amazon Echo competitor, and Schiller's comments are all-but-confirmation that it'll also come with a built-in screen. µ
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