Amazon Echo Show: The Newest Digital Assistant

The newest smart home assistant has been released from Amazon, and it features a screen. What’s the difference between the Echo Show and a tablet or a small computer? Its opportunities.

With the screen, the Show can include visual displays with its responses. Whether that’s verbatim words to follow the response or a complementary image based on the prompt, the Show can answer more questions, more accurately. You may not want to watch an entire Netflix episode on the small screen, but it’s great to show that viral video on YouTube that you keep telling your office about (which it encourages, seriously). It’s also that much easier to restock office supplies from Amazon.

One of its key features is its video calls. Similar to Skype or FaceTime, it is criticized for being more creepy since anyone can “drop in” relatively unannounced. This is similar to the Beam that we already have at my office, allowing team members who work remotely to “beam” in at any time and navigate the room. That’s even more freedom than the Show, so this isn’t creepy from our perspective, at least. If you work remotely, keep the Echo in your office and maybe not your bedroom. Because privacy, plz.

The speakers are better than other smart home assistants, but still not best. There are no headphone jacks, so you can’t connect it to better speakers, either. It’s also not the prettiest, and is pretty chunky. This will only make the next version look even more superior.

Like any new device, it’s more about the technology that develops with the new platform. There are many more skills, but still no email or web. Since it is voice activated, it can’t operate like a normal operating system. After all, it is trying to differentiate itself, too.

My team at the Tech Garage will continue to experiment with the new Echo Show, developing new skills that can be innovative for Accenture and our clients. What ideas do you have for the Echo Show? The capabilities may be limited, but the options are endless, and we can’t wait!

++ Mary K

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