Amazon has already released updated versions of 5, 8 and 10-inch Echo shows this year, but that has not yet been done with smart screens. Today, at the annual autumn event, the company announced the Echo Show 15, the biggest so far. With a 15.6-inch 1080p screen, the Echo Show 15 almost looks like a large picture frame. It can be mounted on the wall or placed on a stand, in portrait or landscape orientation. The Echo Show 15 will sell for $ 249.99.
Because it has such a large screen, Amazon has introduced a redesigned home screen that goes with Echo Show 15. You can configure it so that part of the screen has the usual rotating array of ambient content like titles and time updates (those who already have Echo Show will know ), while the rest can be customized with various Alexa widgets. Think of the whole thing as a multifunctional family bulletin board.
These widgets include useful apps like family calendar, shared shopping lists, sticky notes, to-do lists, reminders, recipe recommendations from sources like Allrecipes and Epicurious, restaurant delivery options, and more. There is a Blue Apron widget that helps you order meal sets and shows you step by step recipe instructions. The connected home widget helps you see and control your favorite smart home devices. You can also allow a picture to be displayed live on camera so you can keep an eye on your kids while you cook dinner. There is also a widget to help you track package delivery.
According to Amazon, these Alexa widgets will also be available in other Echo shows, but you’ll need to swipe the screen to see them. At Echo Show 15, however, they can be organized so that they appear on the home screen, which cannot be done on Echo shows with a smaller screen. In case you have guests and don’t want to see all your calendars and personal information, you can enable the picture frame mode in Echo Show 15 by displaying only photos or artwork.
In addition, Echo Show 15 has a new visual identification feature that can recognize your face, which will ask it to show you personalized information, such as calendar appointments, reminders, and notes. This is potentially useful in a multi-member household because you can show sticky notes intended only for certain family members, for example. In addition, if you enter a child in the visual ID, the device will display age-appropriate content.
For those who care about privacy, the visual ID is completely optional, plus all the information about computer vision remains on the device, and nothing goes into the cloud. The microphone and camera have power switches, and there’s a built-in camera shutter. In addition, you can always view and delete your voice memos.
Much like other smart screens powered by Alexa, the Echo Show 15 has a host of entertainment options that include Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu and more. All Echo shows will soon support both TikTok and Sling TV streaming.
The Echo Show 15 is powered by Amazon’s AZ2 Neural Edge processor, which runs many of the machine’s built-in machine learning and computer vision capabilities. It enables the above-mentioned visual ID function, and also allows you to teach Alexa your personal preferences. For example, you can tell Alexa that you are a vegetarian, and the next time you ask Alexa for recipes, she will remember it and show you only vegetarian recipes.
One particularly intriguing new feature is that you can teach Alexa and recognize sounds. For example, if your refrigerator beeps when it is open for too long, you can teach Alex to recognize that sound and then notify you that you need to close the refrigerator door. You can teach him to recognize the doorbell, the sound of the microwave, the melody of the washing machine and various other household warnings. This sounds potentially very useful, especially for the hard of hearing.
Amazon says the Echo Show 15 will be available later this year. Stands and accessories for mounting under the cabinets will be sold separately at a price to be determined.
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