AMAZON HAS REVEALED the next logical step in its Echo smart assistant development.
Following on from the success of the Echo Show and Echo Spot, the company has announced a software update for its cheap-as-chips Fire HD8 and HD10 tablets that will turn them to a makeshift Echo device with all the same functionality.
Show Mode will allow users to toggle into the display UI of the Amazon Echo Show, giving all the same functionality as the premium £199 screen powered device.
The really neat part is that, because this is in a tablet form factor, it's much more portable.
As part of the launch, it'll be offering a docking station for your tablet, which will automatically turn on Show mode when it feels POGO-pins. Prices are to be announced.
The company recently closed its live video support option 'Mayday' that was part of the Fire offering.
The software updates are due to start rolling out on 2 July and will apply only to the Fire HD8 (£79.99) and HD10 (£149.99) - older and cheaper devices won't be supported, not least of all because with the Fire 7 dropping to just £30 something quid at times, there'd be no reason left to buy an Echo Show at all.
In fact, the whole idea of a Fire tablet in a docking station is a lot less fugly than the Echo Show itself.
You can use a Bluetooth speaker if you want, but there's no option for an external microphone and it's fair to say that this isn't going to have the same far-field array power that Echo devices rely on. For using it whilst on battery, Amazon doesn't think it'll drain much quicker than in standard tablet mode.
Amazon sees this as an "as well" rather than an "instead" for the Echo Show range, but for something like a desk set up, it could be a much more permanent arrangement, perhaps snuggled under a monitor.
In related news, Amazon has added a Kids' Version of the Fire HD10 device, presumably for children with really big hands. μ
Firm likely will move to eliminate the chunky bottom bezel
Finally, a clear view of Novak Djokovic's nasal pubes
Move comes in response to a serious of rumour-fuelled violent incidents in India
Phishing attacks were launched against the candidates' staff