Amazon is working on a “premium” Echo-like speaker with a large touchscreen, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
The device, which has not been announced, will take a turn from Amazon’s cylindrical-style devices that are controlled through Alexa. It will now allegedly have a display that will measure about seven inches. The device will make it less complicated for people when accessing content like weather, calendar events and the news, sources told Bloomberg.
The Echo-like speaker will be bigger and will tilt upwards for a better viewing angle when it’s sitting on a counter or when the user is standing.
The device will come with high-grade speakers, a big step-up from the Echo which has poor sound quality. Although Echo’s sound quality is good at low-to-middling volumes, the sound could get distorted at higher volumes. Also, there’s an issue with voice recognition when the volume is at its highest level, as the device can’t understand the user’s commands.
What The New Speaker Will Do
The new speaker will use a newer version of Fire OS, the software that runs Amazon’s Fire tablets and Fire TV set-top box. The device will respond to the user’s verbal instructions and questions, just like current Alexa gadgets. The company is also working on a feature that will allow users to pin elements like photos on the new device’s screen, similar to placing pictures or reminder notes on a refrigerator door.
The new device is scheduled to be announced during the first quarter of 2017. Amazon will continue selling its previous models, the Dot, Tap and Echo speakers, which cost $50, $130 and $180, respectively. The new device will have a higher price, sources told Bloomberg.