Tech

Amazon launches its first wall-mounted speaker at unveiling event

Tech giant Amazon has launched its first ever wall-mounted speaker, at its streamed launch event event on Tuesday.

The £240 ($250) Alexa-powered Echo Show 15 device boasts a 15-inch display that you can mount to your wall or place on your counter.  

Users can hang it horizontally or vertically, like a photo frame, as it displays how-to videos, recipes from the web or shows streamed from Netflix and Spotify. 

Amazon also unveiled a $60 smart thermostat, a kids device called ‘Amazon Glow’ for them to share an ‘interactive projected space’ with loved ones, and a home robot called ‘Astro’. 

Echo Show 15 has a 15.6-inch display that you can mount to your wall or place on your counter

Echo Show 15 can be mounted on a wall or placed on a counter- either in portrait or landscape orientation - and is designed to blend into the surroundings like a photo frame

Echo Show 15 can be mounted on a wall or placed on a counter- either in portrait or landscape orientation – and is designed to blend into the surroundings like a photo frame

‘We think of it [Echo Show 15] as a kitchen TV, but much, much smarter,’ said Miriam Daniel, vice president of Alexa and Echo devices. 

Echo Show 15 can display a live-stream from your smart doorbell, user interface of streaming services, personalised sticky notes to members of the family and many more. 

If you’ve opted to hang it from the wall and want to disable the display, users can ask Alexa to show a photo frame, and Echo Show 15 just shows photos.  

‘Echo Show 15 brings everything that makes your household tick into one place,’ said Tom Taylor, senior vice president, Amazon Alexa.

Amazon says: 'With customizable Alexa widgets, Echo Show 15 brings together everything families need on its beautiful 15.6-inch Full HD screen'

Amazon says: ‘With customizable Alexa widgets, Echo Show 15 brings together everything families need on its beautiful 15.6-inch Full HD screen’

It also has a redesigned home screen and Alexa widgets, designed for digital post-it notes and to-do lists in mind.  

‘With a redesigned home screen and Alexa widgets, you can customize Echo Show 15 to see your shared family calendar, manage to-do lists and reminders, find meal inspiration, and keep track of your incoming packages.

‘Plus, Echo Show 15 can adapt to your home environment with full-screen photos or art, so it’s always there when you need it, but fades beautifully into the background when you don’t.’  

Amazon Glow for £250 combines 'immersive projection, sensing, and video technologies to make it feel like you’re having fun in-person'

Amazon Glow for £250 combines ‘immersive projection, sensing, and video technologies to make it feel like you’re having fun in-person’

Amazon Glow is a two-part device designed for children that lets them remotely connect with loved ones by participating in activities together. 

During video calls on Glow, kids see a chat participants on a dedicated 8-inch display on a black device that looks almost like a retro walkie-talkie.

As they talk, they can be reading stories, playing games, and creating art on a 19-inch, touch-sensitive, ‘projected space’ that looks like a sheet of paper. 

As children are enjoying engaging activities on the flat ‘projected space’, remote family and friends see the child on a tablet and participate in the same activities using a free Glow app. 

Amazon partnerships with Nickelodeon, Sesame Workshop, Mattel and Disney mean children can choose from a wide range of content

Amazon partnerships with Nickelodeon, Sesame Workshop, Mattel and Disney mean children can choose from a wide range of content

Amazon says Glow combines ‘immersive projection, sensing, and video technologies to make it feel like you’re having fun in-person’.  

‘Glow brings an entirely new level of fun that lets kids be kids and welcomes grown-ups into an exciting new way to connect and bond, even when they’re far away,’ said Joerg Tewes, general manager for Amazon Glow. 

‘We’ve created an unbreakable, supersized, projected surface like no other, fusing digital and physical fun that excites kids and delights grown-ups with all they can do together.’ 

Amazon partnerships with Nickelodeon, Sesame Workshop, Mattel and Disney mean children can choose from a wide range of content.  

Lastly, Always Home Cam was unveiled last year but it’s still not going to be made generally available for the time being, Amazon revealed. 

It’s a home surveillance drone that flies around your house when you’re not there and keeps an eye out for intruders.

It consists of a flying black camera, powered by rotor blades, that automatically takes off from a stationary white dock if it detects movement in the house.

The camera streams a live view of what’s going on in the user’s home to their smartphone via the Ring app, in case of unwelcome visitors.   

But Amazon revealed during today’s event that it’s only to available to purchase by invite – meaning interested customers have to sign up to have a chance to buy. 

More to follow 

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