Amazon is reportedly planning a wall-mounted touchscreen Echo device, that would act as a ‘command centre’ for smart home functionality.
A report from the intrepid Mark Gurman of Bloomberg asserts the large touchscreen device would offer video chats, the option to play media and offer a smart home control panel for Alexa-connected devices.
The report details the potential for calendar appointments, alongside all of those controls for lights, locks and any other smart home gadgets you have at your disposal.
The report says Amazon is testing the waters with displays somewhere between 10- and 13-inches in size, complete with microphones, speakers and video cameras for two-way video chat. So, a big wall mounted tablet with similar functionality to an Echo Show then? Yeah, that seems to be the case.
Those familiar with the matter say Amazon is planning to release the device before the end of this year – Amazon often refreshes its Echo hardware each autumn – or in 2022. It’s also possible that the project could still be scrapped.
The report says the device could cost up to $250 (around £200) if it comes to fruition, making it a little pricier than any of the Echo Show devices to date. Of course, it’ll need to be much, much slimmer than those devices too.
Amazon’s most recent Echo Show offers a more powerful speaker behind a tablet that’s able to swivel around the room so users can see the screen and video calls can be made while wondering around the kitchen, for instance.
When asked by Trusted Reviews whether there’s anything in the report, an Amazon spokesperson cited the policy of not commenting on rumours and speculation.
Of course, there are plenty of people who already use tablets as wall-mounted devices, as well as dedicated smart home control panels. This would probably be a good play for Amazon moving forward as it seeks to maintain its grip over the emerging smart home market.