Amazon is Developing an Echo Show Smart Speaker to Embed in Walls
Amazon is developing a wall-mounted Echo smart display as a smart home control hub communications tool, according to a report from Bloomberg. Amazon has not officially commented on the device, which Amazon’s Lab126 hardware team is supposedly designing.
The details gleaned from the report suggest the Echo embedded in the wall will be much like the Echo Show 10 introduced last year. Microphones, and a camera support video calls, while the touchscreen connects to the user’s account for personalized calendars. The device would also be the heart of the smart home ecosystem, with the touchscreen and voice commands to Alexa controlling lights, speakers, and other devices. The screen wouldn’t be able to rotate and follow you around the room like the Echo Show 10, presumably, unless it is mounted in the same way as the Echo Show wall mounts Amazon currently sells. The screens will reportedly come in 10 and 13-inch models and cost $200 to $250, although the report cautioned that the plans are still in flux. That the device will come to the market either this coming winter or the end of 2022 makes that confusion obvious. There’s also no name given for the device, but Amazon may want to avoid people bragging about the Echo in their wall. Asking Wall-exa to play the Doors might be fun, though.
Incorporating smart home technology into the physical structure of a home has obvious appeal for Amazon or any other smart home platform as it essentially forces the people living there to buy and use devices compatible with the core AI. It might attract fans of Amazon and Alexa too. On the other hand, this kind of default integration can make construction firms designing buildings unhappy. Several reported being unhappy about installing Nest smart home devices when Google started requiring a Google account to connect to Nest devices. Still, even a rumor about Amazon planning a wall-mounted Echo suggests there could be a shift toward this style. Smart home voice automation platform developer Josh.ai runs its ecosystem through Josh Nano devices. The main difference there being they don’t have a screen. In fact, the four microphones, privacy switch, touch sensor, temperature sensor, and LED light ring take are packed into a disk just 1.6 inches across and 0.1 inches thick, and 1.6 inches across, as well as a paintable cover that makes it almost invisible.