Amazon’s new Alexa speaker has a screen too

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Washington (AFP) – Amazon on Tuesday unveiled the latest member of its family of devices powered by its Alexa digital assistant — this one with a touchscreen.

The new device called Echo Show steps up efforts by Amazon to be part of the connected home, and potentially create a market for a new kind of computing device.

The new device will be sold for $229 and ships starting June 28, according to Amazon’s website. It will include the features of its other Echo devices along with video shown on a seven-inch touchscreen.

“With Echo Show, customers can watch video flash briefings and YouTube, and see music lyrics, smart home cameras, photos, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists, and more,” said a blog post from Amazon developer anc chief evangelist for Echo devices David Isbitski.

Users will also be able to call or message others who also have an Echo or the Alexa application.

Amazon has dominated the category of connected speakers since 2014 when it introduced its first Echo, which responds to voice commands and allows users to order goods or rides and control connected appliances.

A survey released Monday by research firm eMarketer found Amazon’s Echo speakers held 70.6 percent of the US market, compared with 23.8 percent for Google Home and 5.6 percent for others including Lenovo, LG, Harmon Kardon and Mattel.

The report said 35.6 million Americans will use a voice-activated assistant device at least once a month this year, a jump of 128.9 percent over last year.

Separately Monday, Samsung-owned Harman Kardon announced the release of its new Invoke speaker powered by Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana and integrating Skype for making calls using the device.

    <figure><figcaption>US online giant Amazon, which has scored a hit with its Alexa-powered digital assistants, is adding a new connected speaker with a screen called Echo Show
        <span>Copyright AFP/File LEON NEAL</span>
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