Amazon was the first to get into the game with its Echo speaker, which is powered by Amazon's Alexa AI.
That means anyone on your phone's contact list - your plumber, your dentist, your boss or an ex - can call your Echo directly, even if you've blocked their calling privileges on your phone's contacts.
From my perspective, it feels as if this is what smart speakers have needed all along.
Kintan Brahmbhatt, Director of the Amazon Music Product Management and Engineering Program, speaks at Upstream. Amazon's plans for Alexa are more widespread than any device category or the constraints of Amazon's own hardware aspirations, Steve Rabuchin, vice president of Amazon Alexa, said at last week's Collision conference. But that's not all.
According to Amazon, the Echo Show "brings you everything you love about Alexa, and now she can show you things".
The Echo Show will be delivered from June 28 and is already available for preorders.
Currently, there are no ads on Amazon Echo. The Echo Dot and Echo are outselling the newcomer again.
We'll be there for you anytime you ask for an update.
But the Show got even further.
Echo Show will be able to make and receive video and voice calls but only to other Echo owners or through the Alexa app on your smartphone.
Amazon also launched the Echo Look which will let you take selfies and compare outfits.
Analysts with Morgan Stanley say the reasoning behind the so-called Echo Show is simple: It will make voice-activated shopping a lot easier. It weighs about 2.5 pounds and comes in at 7.4 by 7.4 by 3.5 inches. The latter allows connecting external devices (eg. speakers). We'll walk you through how to get up and running now.
But Amazon has secured a decisive advantage with the Echo and the new Echo Show, and it is hard to see it losing that advantage and its lead in AI development.
Quite a bit, actually. Without a stable network connection the VoIP service will not work. Does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks. As voice-interface devices become more mainstream, developing a distinctive brand sound will become increasingly important. The best part? It's all hands-free. Voice messages can be played back by anyone in proximity to your Echo, with no PIN or passphrase required.
Luckily, you'll have the option to turn "Drop In" off if you find you can't stand unannounced inspection. It will also connect to other smart devices or appliances so users can adjust or monitor settings and usage. There it will cost $229.99USD. You can pre-order it here.
"People have been working on voice and artificial intelligence for decades, but it was really the ideal storm of [Amazon Web Services] with unlimited compute out in the cloud, machine learning and deep learning to really bring these services together", Rabuchin said, reflecting on the history of Alexa to date.