Amazon unveiled its latest Echo device this week. The Amazon Show is a voice-activated (Alexa) tablet that also has a touchscreen.
The Show acts pretty much like the Echo, only this device has a screen and can display a lot more of the things that Alexa digs up for you. It can, for example, show you the weather instead of just telling you about it.
The Show will retail for $229.99 in the United States. But is the Show worth the cash? What does it do that your Echo can’t? Here’s a closer look at the Amazon Show - and whether or not you need to have this new Amazon device in your life.
The Screen Advantage
Why would you want a screen when you can just ask your Echo something and get an answer? The reasons are many (and most are practical). Some of the benefits of a screen include being able to watch videos, looking at how recipes are put together or just viewing a recipe, taking a closer look at maps and weather, seeing images of the things that you want to know more about - the list goes on and on.
The idea behind Amazon’s Show is to ask Alexa a question and get a very detailed answer that includes an image. Since the Show is also a touchscreen, you can use your fingers to pinch and zoom on something, tap something, or take a closer look at something. One other fun feature of the Show is that it works very well with Amazon content.
Connecting With Amazon Content
You can use the Show to stream photos that you may have stored with Prime Photos (kind of like those digital picture frames that were all the rage a few years ago). Amazon is also working on a new feature that the company is calling ‘Drop In.’ The Drop In feature will allow someone from a designated list of contacts to call your Amazon Show.
After a caller has connected with your Show device, you can then decide to switch to voice-only or reject the call within a matter of minutes. Amazon sees this feature working especially well when checking in on elderly relatives or kids at home. I’m not entirely sold on the Drop In feature, but Amazon does seem to be very excited about it. More on that feature will likely follow.
WiFi Security Enabled
Amazon has also made the Show work well with security camera systems. You can ask the Show to show you the front door, for example, and images will appear on your Show tablet. Using your current WiFi and a camera setup, the Show can then let you see all around your property or home through an Alexa command.
Even if you don’t have a camera system, the Show comes with a pair of two-inch speakers that can be controlled through voice command. Amazon wants the Show to become an indispensable part of your connected home, but it’s also one of the earlier Echo products. Amazon has been working hard to come up with new connected devices that consumer will love - and that work with Alexa.