Alexa Adds Video Sharing and Daily Memories to Echo Show Smart Displays
Echo Show smart display owners can now record and share videos to their Alexa contacts and set up an AI-curated Daily Memory picture on the device. The two features are part of Amazon’s regular rollout of additional Alexa and Echo abilities that it decided not to highlight individually in a headline, but still worth marking in its monthly roundup of Alexa news.
Videos & Memories
The new Daily Memories feature for Echo Show enables the smart display to automatically curate user-provided photos to select a new one every day. The choice comes the photo collections the user provides access to, but relies on Alexa’s AI to pick out a good one. It’s is a lot like the similar option for Fire TV screensavers, which fits Amazon’s strategy of blurring the lines between a smart display and a smart TV. The homemade films people make with their Echo Shows, meanwhile, can now be sent directly to their friends with the same device. The result is a bit like a video voicemail, with the benefit of not needing to both be physically present like they would during a live video call. The asynchronous communication uses the smart display’s camera and microphone to record the message, which can then be sent to any contact with a similar device using the Alexa mobile app or the Echo Show. They can then express their feelings via video emojis.
“Say, “Alexa, record video,” to start recording a video on your Echo Show device. Once recorded, you can tell Alexa to share the video with any of your Alexa contacts,” Amazon explained in a blog post. The recipient will be able to send a reaction back by choosing one of three animated emoji options from the Alexa app or their Echo Show device, including “laugh,” “love,” and “wow.””
The video-sharing and photo curation aren’t as momentous as the new Alexa voice profiles for kids or Amazon Music’s new DJ Mode, but they demonstrate the holistic approach to improving Alexa and its hardware pursued by the tech giant. The most important Alexa development this month, however, might be the rollout of the upgraded Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 5, as well as the new child-focused Echo Show 5 Kids revealed in May. offer better hardware and features, though their appearance is largely unchanged from their predecessors. The new Echo Show 8 is a bonus for the video messaging as it upgrades the camera from 1 megapixel to 13 megapixels, making the image far sharper. The camera can also pan and zoom to track a user’s face, adding more dynamism to the message, if not quite as much as the Echo Show 10’s swiveling display.