Amazon’s Alexa-enabled speakers have turned out to be quite successful. According to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Amazon has sold more than five million units since the initial launch two years ago. But the best is yet to come.
In hopes of capitalizing on the success of the devices, the company is now taking the next step in the development of its popular speakers. According to a report from Bloomberg, Amazon will soon — reportedly in Q1 2017 — announce a new Alexa-powered device that will offer better sound quality, and more importantly, feature a 7-inch touch screen.
The screen should significantly enhance the user experience as it will allow for quick access to information like the weather, calendar appointments, news, and other similar functions. It will be tilted upwards, so you’ll be able to see it when the device is positioned on a table or the kitchen counter.
The device will obviously still respond to your voice commands and will be able to tell you what time it is, what the weather is like, and even help you out when preparing lunch or dinner, just like the current Alexa-powered lineup consisting of the Echo Dot, Tap, and Echo, which retail for $49.99, $129.99, and $179.99 respectively.
The pricing of Amazon’s upcoming device is yet to be known, but it’s safe to say that due to the addition of a screen it will be the company’s most expensive Alexa product yet.
Over a month ago, Google announced the Assistant-powered Home device, which goes head to head with Amazon’s Alexa speakers. In addition, Apple is supposedly also looking to enter the market sometime next year. The online retail giant clearly hopes it will be able to fend off increasing competition with a new premium device that will offer additional functionality thanks to the integrated screen.
What are your thoughts? Does the addition of a screen make a voice-controlled speaker more appealing to you?