With Apple rumored to launch Siri home speaker, Amazon preps flagship touchscreen Echo

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited May 2017
As rumors continue to heat up regarding a Siri-driven personal home assistant with high-end audio, Amazon is preparing to expand its own Alexa lineup, with a new leak revealing a touchscreen flagship Echo with camera.




A low-resolution image of the alleged hardware was discovered on Amazon's servers by AFTVnews.com. The same site found the style-focused Echo Look in the same manner before the AI-driven fashion advisor was officially announced last week.

The image appears to show a new Amazon Echo model with a touchscreen display. It is angled upwards, making it easy to use when sitting on a counter or nightstand, with a camera above the display and what seems to be a speaker array below.

Friday's report alleged that the new flagship Echo is codenamed "Knight" and it will be released later this month.

If that timeframe is accurate, Amazon could be looking to steal some thunder from Apple, who is rumored to launch its own Siri-driven Echo competitor as soon as next month at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

Reports have suggested the device will borrow some design cues from the Mac Pro, with a cylindrical shape and concave top with physical controls.




In addition, Apple's model is expected to carry a premium price with high-end components, including high-quality audio with one woofer and seven tweeters, as well as a powerful custom CPU equivalent to an A8 or newer. It is also rumored that Apple's home assistant will feature a custom W1 Bluetooth chip for easy pairing to accessories, and AirPlay support for high-fidelity audio over Wi-Fi.

Similarly, it's expected that Amazon's touchscreen Echo will also target the high end of the market, considering existing models do not feature displays. AFTVnews.com suggested that the flagship Echo will be able to make both voice and video calls, and could be priced above $200.
The_Martini_Cat
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 599member
    Can't see the new Echo catching on...now they are trying to compete with features of a cell phone
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 30
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,697member
    Adding to "I wanna play too": Watch for Microsoft's home assistant in the near future. it's supposedly far beyond anything anyone else is offering. 
    http://www.patentlymobile.com/2017/01/a-microsoft-patent-reveals-a-highly-advanced-home-automation-device-thats-miles-ahead-of-amazons-echo.html
  • Reply 3 of 30
    vukasikavukasika Posts: 83member
    Touchscreen with what features via the screen? With what OS powering the platform? Andriod?  LoL yeah we all know how great a job Amazon did with Android phones & tablets right? Please let this rumor be true.  A sloppy product from Amazon would only make a good product from Apple look that much better.
    caliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 30
    crimguycrimguy Posts: 118member
    Having used a Fire TV for a while, Amazon is perfectly capable of making a limited-use UI.  Further, the current Echoes have a very responsive voice control interface, with an excellent microphone array.

    I think at this time it's Apple who better make damn sure their system is responsive, and works well.
    blastdoor
  • Reply 5 of 30
    Yikes. That design looks like a really plastic something. I'd be proud to display it in my home or office closet.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 30
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,895member
    crimguy said:
    Having used a Fire TV for a while, Amazon is perfectly capable of making a limited-use UI.  Further, the current Echoes have a very responsive voice control interface, with an excellent microphone array.

    I think at this time it's Apple who better make damn sure their system is responsive, and works well.
    The Amazon Echo is a fad that will slowly fall away...I'm sure Apple isn't too worried about it. Just because its seeing moderate success doesn't mean its a sustainable product. People thought the same thing about Netbooks and said Apple was missing out by not releasing one. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 30
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,362member
    I'm not sure what to make of any of these products. None really excite me. YMMV.

    The one place I really like a voice assistant is the car. CarPlay is useful. Siri not exactly the brightest bulb in the box though.
    pscooter63repressthisstanhope
  • Reply 8 of 30
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Apple is really letting their iPads and Siri fall behind. Years ago I heard of people using their iPads as home assistants but if Siri doesn't get the VocalIQ update and iPad continues to be seen as iPhone's little brother(ironically) I can imagine Amazon "Echo touch" stealing marketshare from iPad.
  • Reply 9 of 30
    This is a great thing, because it gets a camera into the area where you try on your clothes.  You know, to get fashion advice from Amazon's personal shopper.  I hope it turns out better than their policy for packages they say are delivered but are not.  "Go out & ask the neighbors if they got a package.  Look in any nearby bushes."  Anyway, that's why you need a touch screen, to be able to show you the picture of yourself as you're trying on something you like from your closet & so it can find something similar.  Camera in the bedroom, what could go  wrong?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 30
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,469member
    Camera-equipped Echo ⇒ "jumping the shark"
  • Reply 11 of 30
    Jasonx911Jasonx911 Posts: 16member
    I can't so apple trying to revert back to a fixed station assistant. Apple has a fixed stationary device with a screen and speakers it's called an iMac. Any item brought into this realm will be an accompaniment to its vast array of portable devices. My guess is it's going to sleek stealthy and no physical interaction only voice. And it's going to be called Apple Home
  • Reply 12 of 30
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 599member
    cali said:
    Apple is really letting their iPads and Siri fall behind. Years ago I heard of people using their iPads as home assistants but if Siri doesn't get the VocalIQ update and iPad continues to be seen as iPhone's little brother(ironically) I can imagine Amazon "Echo touch" stealing marketshare from iPad.
    to your point, hopefully it's released soon, maybe next month:
    http://iphone.appleinsider.com/articles/16/05/30/apples-vocaliq-takeover-could-hint-at-siri-upgrades-for-wwdc-and-beyond

    Prior to Apple's takeover, VocalIQ's technology scored over 90 percent in difficult accuracy tests —compared with roughly 20 percent for Siri, Google Now, or Microsoft's Cortana, a source told Business Insider
    edited May 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 30
    pepe779pepe779 Posts: 84member
    I don't quite understand Apple's ambitions in this particular area, because these speakers/assistants clearly have very limited practical usage and are basically gimmicks that I don't believe anybody truly uses longer than maybe a few days and whatever Amazon is trying to achieve by adding a screen to it is just utter nonsense imho. This is not about innovation or solving real life problems anymore, this is about flooding the market with products that have no meaning and are just DOA. I seriously don't see why I would buy and use this instead of simply using my iPad for the very same purpose.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 30
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,271member
    pepe779 said:
    I don't quite understand Apple's ambitions in this particular area, because these speakers/assistants clearly have very limited practical usage and are basically gimmicks that I don't believe anybody truly uses longer than maybe a few days and whatever Amazon is trying to achieve by adding a screen to it is just utter nonsense imho. This is not about innovation or solving real life problems anymore, this is about flooding the market with products that have no meaning and are just DOA. I seriously don't see why I would buy and use this instead of simply using my iPad for the very same purpose.
    No this is incorrect.  I use my Google Home every single day.   It controls the lighting in my room, plays music genre on demand and if I was more steeped in the Google Universe would manage my Calendar, ToDo and more. 

    When you say "I don't see ...."  the important part to realize is the "I" you are unique and bring your own set of values and perspective that will differ from others. 
    crimguy
  • Reply 15 of 30
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,928member
    crimguy said:
    Having used a Fire TV for a while, Amazon is perfectly capable of making a limited-use UI.  Further, the current Echoes have a very responsive voice control interface, with an excellent microphone array.

    I think at this time it's Apple who better make damn sure their system is responsive, and works well.
    Very fair point. There's also the point that Siri needs to improve. 

    But for me, there are two big advantages that Apple has relative to just about anybody else:

    1. the quality of the entire ecosystem
    2. privacy/security

    While competitors might enjoy quality advantages for some products some of the time, I'm not aware of anybody who can provide an entire ecosystem of connected products that, collectively, are as good as Apple's. 

    And Apple beats everybody on issue #2. Strange to say it, but Microsoft is probably Apple's closest competitor for #2 (everybody else is way far behind), but Microsoft has big ecosystem gaps. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 30
    kamiltonkamilton Posts: 262member
    I love all the perspectives here.  I think the key is to make this device into a personal companion.  More friend and less assistant.  That's what seems to have promise.  Admittedly, Siri is no where near capable enough to accomplish this goal.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 30
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,697member
    blastdoor said:
    crimguy said:
    Having used a Fire TV for a while, Amazon is perfectly capable of making a limited-use UI.  Further, the current Echoes have a very responsive voice control interface, with an excellent microphone array.

    I think at this time it's Apple who better make damn sure their system is responsive, and works well.
    Very fair point. There's also the point that Siri needs to improve. 

    But for me, there are two big advantages that Apple has relative to just about anybody else:

    1. the quality of the entire ecosystem
    2. privacy/security

    While competitors might enjoy quality advantages for some products some of the time, I'm not aware of anybody who can provide an entire ecosystem of connected products that, collectively, are as good as Apple's. 

    And Apple beats everybody on issue #2. Strange to say it, but Microsoft is probably Apple's closest competitor for #2 (everybody else is way far behind), but Microsoft has big ecosystem gaps. 
    http://www.macworld.com/article/3057196/privacy/apple-facebook-google-and-microsoft-pursue-strong-security-but-differing-notions-of-privacy.html
  • Reply 18 of 30
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,626member
    sog35 said:
    This is a great thing, because it gets a camera into the area where you try on your clothes.  You know, to get fashion advice from Amazon's personal shopper.  I hope it turns out better than their policy for packages they say are delivered but are not.  "Go out & ask the neighbors if they got a package.  Look in any nearby bushes."  Anyway, that's why you need a touch screen, to be able to show you the picture of yourself as you're trying on something you like from your closet & so it can find something similar.  Camera in the bedroom, what could go  wrong?
    or "Please live in neighborhoods with less crime"

    My theory is that Bezo's knows that Echo camera is creepy as hell but just wants to feed his ego that he can't do anything wrong in the eyes of Wall Street and the tech media. Basically the King has no clothes. Oh, and Bezo's just sold $1 billion in AMZN stock, and Wall Street does not care one bit.
    Bezos sold a bill in stock? Why wasn't that reported here?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 30
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,096member
    So from this are we to conclude Siri speaker rumor is more about making buzz for Amazon product than making sense?
  • Reply 20 of 30
    tcattcat Posts: 3member
    Siri supports multiple languages, Echo doesn't. Where English is not the first language Siri is the clear winner.

    It is simply not natural speaking a second language to a "personal" assistant.

    English only is a showstopper.
    watto_cobra
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