Amazon May Launch Alexa Fueled Echo Speaker With 7-inch Touch Display Next Year

echo kitchen
Amazon took the consumer electronics world by storm two years ago with the debut of its Echo speaker, which is powered by the Alexa intelligent digital assistant. The Alexa/Echo family has since grown to include the pint-sized Echo Dot and the portable Amazon Tap. During that time, Alexa’s skillset has also ballooned to over 5,500 skills.

According to a new report, it looks as though Amazon is ready to take the next step in the evolution of the Echo speaker by adding a large touch screen. The new Echo’s 7-inch display will reportedly be capable of tilting so that it is readable in varied environments, even while sitting on a kitchen countertop. It’s also said that the device will feature vastly superior speakers than those available on the first-generation Echo.

Echo Bookshelf

The new Echo, which is being developed under the codename “Knight”, is expected to use a modified version of FireOS, which underpins everything from Amazon’s Fire TV streamers to its Fire tablets. The device will of course respond to spoken commands and will allow users to “pin items such as photos on their speaker’s screen akin to physically placing items on a refrigerator door,” according to Mark Gurman.

Amazon has increasingly come under attack in the home-centric digital assistant market over the past year. The most recent competition has come from none other than Google, which is heavily promoting its Home speaker. Apple is also said to be working on its own home digital assistant companion that would interface with all of your Apple devices and of course leverage the Siri digital assistant.

The new touch screen-infused Echo speaker will reportedly be announced during the first quarter of 2017.