Amazon has prompted unconfirmed reports of a new Echo-like speaker and possible 7″ touchscreen that would allow users to interface with Alexa technology. Echo’s success as a voice-prompted assistant is based upon it being hands-free. A screen seems to take away from that functionality.
As rumors continue to swirl, the tech world is left to speculate on what Amazon’s new personal assistant’s interface will look like. According to a November 29, 2016 Bloomberg Technology news article, “Amazon officials who refused to be named, have stated that the latest Amazon speaker, named the “Knight” will be larger and tilt upwards so the screen can be seen when it sits on the counter and the user is standing.”
“The Echo should rather be able to sync with screens we already have like computer monitors and televisions.”
Chivalry is Dead
Given a higher price, one wonders what aspects of the Knight’s use would bring that a smartphone cannot do. The echo’s powerful voice recognition capabilities allow it to respond to commands given anywhere in the room, and sometimes even from another room. This benefit becomes useless as soon as you have to carry it around everywhere using the touchscreen.
The aim of the Knight is obviously to bring the Echo and its users greater functionality. Yet, committing resources to developing and testing a new touchscreen device ignores the use of existing technologies. The Echo should rather be able to sync with screens we already have like computer monitors and televisions.
What the Amazon Knight Could Do Better
Take Amazon’s own Fire TV as an example of using existing devices to improve functionality. Out of the box, Fire TV it comes with a remote called a Firestick which is paired with one tv. If you lose that remote, you can download an app on your smartphone or tablet that has the ability to control any number of Fire TVs.
To us, the Amazon Knight seems like a reinvention of the wheel. We would have Amazon improve Echo’s functionality with existing devices rather than charging more for a touchscreen that would fall short of the functionality of our own smartphones. Edgylabs readers: let us know if you agree.