Amazon’s annual fall showcase saw its fair share of exciting announcements. One such revelation is the all-new Amazon Echo Show 15, the company’s biggest smart display yet.
The 15.6-inch 1080p HD display parts ways with the boxier designs of previous Echo Show displays, favoring a sleeker, moreflat design. It’s also the first Show that can be wall-mounted for either landscape or portrait viewing. Powered by the Alexa voice assistant and Amazon’s new AZ2 neural-edge processor, it places a great emphasis on shared family connections. Intended to stand upright or be hung in communal spots throughout the home (living room, kitchen, hallway, etc.), the Echo Show 15 will allow the whole family to check in on shared calendar events, post sticky notes, add to shopping lists, and more.
There’s no doubt that an Alexa-powered smart speaker is useful. After all, the ability to control your smart home, play games, and choose music with your voice is phenomenal — but did you know there are a lot of abilities that go overlooked?
Alexa is jam-packed with features that don’t get as much time in the limelight. Some will keep you entertained, while others can help you give back to the world around you.
It’s worth wondering if we’d be further along in our quest for the ultimate smart home if we had never called it a Smart Home.
The idea that an entire dwelling could achieve something approaching sentience in one-fell swoop was always ludicrous. While our homes represent a singular idea, they’re comprised of a million competing ones. Invariably it’s a hodgepodge, an eclectic mix of design, decor, gadgets and interfaces.
We buy what we like and what we think will fill a utility gap. The refrigerator is purchased for one reason, while the electric stove is for another. Our dish washing machine might be from Kenmore while our clothes dryer is from Samsung.
We buy one set of shades for one room and a different set for another.
In the early days of the smart home revolution, manufacturers tried to sell consumers on a cohesive idea: turnkey systems installed by professionals with a centrally managed interface that only a Mensa candidate could figure out.
The Echo is Amazon’s latest futuristic gadget experiment. It’s one part Bluetooth speaker and one part personal voice assistant. And it blew my mind.
You control the Echo with your voice; you can tell it to do things like play music, read news briefs aloud, add items to your to-do and shopping lists, and tell you the weather. In other words, the Echo is like the realization of HAL 9000 in a black canister, only without the frightening pulsating red camera eye, and not nearly as intelligent.