Show and tell
Alexa continues her evolution towards full humanoid interactivity, as the Echo AI assistant gains a touchscreen. If only we knew what to actually do with it…
Voice assistants were invented to free us from screens, right? Well, kind of.
Leaving aside Amazon’s obvious commercial motive for making Alexa your AI bestie, the real benefit is freeing you from your smartphone’s screen (and dozens of fiddly apps). That’s why, after creating a gadget that many of us didn’t know we needed with the Echo, Amazon has now given Alexa the power of contextual info with her very own display.
The new Amazon Echo Show gives you another way to bring Alexa into your home, this time with the benefit of a 7in screen inside a more boxy form. The Echo Show is still primarily a voice-controlled device, but the touchscreen unlocks added abilities, especially when it comes to controlling Hue bulbs and streaming Spotify.
But while we get the theory behind the Echo Show, does Alexa really benefit from a screen? That was our question when Amazon announced the device in May – and honestly, after a week of using the US version of the Echo Show (it hasn’t come to the UK yet), we don’t have a clear answer. It’s a forward-thinking device with potential, but for now its unique functionality is limited.
In the future, though, when Alexa has more screen-based apps to play with, might this be an essential upgrade?
US$230 / stuff.tv/echoshow