PAT PILCHER previews the forthcoming Amazon Echo Show 5.
It’s that time of the year again, when Amazon announces its new Echo hardware. And the first cab off the Alexa rank is the Echo Show 5. It sports a 5.5-inch display, an HD camera and camera shutter.
Amazon also says they’ve tweaked audio output. Which in concert with its screen, makes it a practical option for watching videos from Vevo, or for listening to Amazon Music (or your music streaming preference).
Amazon also says that they’ll soon have integration with wikiHow. Which in theory would give users access to hundreds of how-to videos, searchable by voice, which has the potential to extend the usefulness of the Echo Show.
Not content with those tweaks, Amazon has also added in a new smart home dashboard to make controlling smart home devices such as lights, cameras and thermostats. The new Dashboard will provide at a glance views of recently used devices and can manage smart devices by category.
Additionally, the new Echo Show 5 has also been tweaked for morning and evening routines. Which means you can set up a night-time routine – one that turns off your bedroom lamp and starts playing nature or sleep sounds for relaxation.
In the morning, waking up can become considerably gentler with Alexa Sunrise. This sees the Echo Show 5’s screen brightening and displaying a sunrise animation before your alarm goes off. Routines can also be tweaked to take advantage of smart home gear, by starting the kettle 10 minutes after the alarm goes off, giving weather forecasts and morning news plus an email update.
The Echo Show 5 also sports a refreshed interface with new clock faces and the ability to add photos.
The addition of an HD camera also means that making video calls to friends and family becomes possible when the recipients also have an Echo Spot or Echo Show, the Alexa app, or Skype. Multiple Echo Show 5’s can also act as an intercom throughout the home.
Last but by no means least, Amazon says they’ll be tweaking privacy capabilities, as the new Echo will include a microphone/camera off button as well as a built-in camera shutter so you can cover the camera.
Voice recordings can also now be deleted by saying “Alexa, delete what I just said” or “Alexa, delete everything I said today.”
This Amazon product is expected to hit retailer shelves next month. NZ Pricing has yet to be confirmed, but early indications are that it’ll be around the $149 mark, which looks set to be a significant reduction on the $399 currently charged for the 2nd gen Echo Show.