The New Amazon Echo Show 10 Streams Netflix While Following You Around the Room
Amazon unveiled the new Echo Show 10 smart display at its new device event on Thursday and announcing that it will be able to stream Netflix as well. The Echo Show 10 completely revamps the look of Amazon’s smart display, which can now rotate around its base to track a user’s movements around the room.
Swivel and Speak
The 10-inch. $250 smart display no longer looks like a screen embedded in a rock to prop it up. Instead, the screen is mounted on a cylinder with a quiet motor that can rotate 360 degrees. The Alexa AI uses the device’s 13-megapixel camera to spot and track whoever is using it, keeping the user in view even as they move around the room. It’s a jump ahead of Google and Facebook’s own tracking software, which requires a user to stay in the frame of the camera to adjust focus on them. On a practical level, the feature means someone on a video call can walk around a room while still being on-camera. To highlight that capability, Amazon announced a new Alexa Group Calling feature where users can set up groups of up to eight fellow Echo Show owners for shared calls. The feature also comes ahead of Echo Show’s previously planned integration with Zoom and the Amazon Chime video conferencing platforms.
Amazon also highlighted ways the rotating camera can be used even when the user isn’t there. For instance, you can use it to scan a room and watch a pet left at home or set it to react to people coming in or out of view by turning on lights or sending a security alert to the owner if it detects someone in the room unexpectedly. Owners uneasy about Alexa’s eyes following them around can ask Alexa to turn off motion or slide a shutter across the camera, which automatically shuts down the rotation as well.
Though not as technically impressive, the integration of Netflix into the Echo Show is a big deal for Amazon. Those with the device and a Netflix account can ask Alexa to start playing a show directly without needing to open an app. They can also use voice commands to browse the catalog. The most important aspect of the integration is that it puts the Echo Show on par with Google’s Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max, which Netflix announced it would start streaming in July. Google is still ahead with integrating Disney+, however, a partnership announced just this week. Still, Netflix is enormously popular and Amazon will be able to use it as an incentive to those deciding on a new smart display.
“Improving our member experience includes making Netflix available where people want it,” Netflix partner engagement manager Barry Smith said in a statement. “We’re excited to partner with Amazon on bringing the Netflix experience that people know and love to Echo Show, making it easier for our members to browse their favorite shows and films using their voice.”
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