AMAZON MAY have just suffered a leak of the next-generation Echo Dot, the pocket-money priced voice-assistant.
The third-generation Echo Dot (the first wasn't released outside the US) does away with a lot of the harsh lines of its predecessors in favour of something more cuddly and homely.
The rounded edges seem to take inspiration from Mobvoi's TicHome and there's generally an eerie feeling of….
…wait a minute… is that an Echo Dot or a Google Home?
Assuming that these are the real deal you can tell that Amazon is looking to blend in far better with its surroundings for the new device - in no small part we suspect due to the success of the Google Home Mini which manages to look innocuous in almost any surroundings.
The photos, first released by French site Numerama suggest that there's fabric around the side, another Google Home trope, that will leave room for some side facing speakers of, we suspect, superior quality.
We'd expect to hear more in the autumn.
Meanwhile Amazon has more pressing matters - specifically the launch of its new casting feature.
At present, Alexa Cast does very little - you can cast Amazon Music from your phone to a Bluetooth speaker. Big whoop.
But once third parties get to it, we could be looking at something significant, given the sheer number of Alexa devices doing the rounds.
Why Amazon felt the need to invent yet another casting standard instead of using Miracast, Airplay, or at least something compatible with Google Cast, is beyond us, but there it is, better late than never. Although even that's a dubious statement to be honest.
Google's Chromecast reached its fifth birthday this week and shows no signs of slowing down, with a myriad of apps now offering streaming to a range of devices, most notably the first smart screen, released in the US by Lenovo yesterday. μ
TIG denies everything, of course
We expect a coup from former Saved by the Bell star Mario Lopez any moment
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