Tech

Amazon’s Echo Show 15 wall-mountable smart display has Visual ID

At its September devices & services event, Amazon has unveiled the Echo Show 15. A new smart display that has a huge 15.6in screen and can be mounted on the wall in two orientations.

It makes it the biggest and most expensive Echo Show yet but comes with a sleek design and a range of useful new features including Visual ID and Custom Sound Detection.

When is the Echo Show 15 release date?

At the moment, Amazon hasn’t confirmed the exact release date for the Echo Show 15 only saying it will arrive “later this year”.

We imagine it will arrive in October or November but we’ll update this article once we have the final date.

How much is the Echo Show 15?

Amazon has confirmed that the Echo Show 15 will cost £239.99 or US$249.99.

What are the Echo Show 15 specs and features?

As the name suggests, the Echo Show 15 has a 15.6in Full HD screen making it the biggest Amazon smart display to date following models like the Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 10. It’s the same display real estate as a full-size laptop and you can either have it on a stand or wall-mounted in either landscape or portrait orientation.

This versatility means you can put it in various rooms in the house, even if there’s no flat surface available. Although, a countertop stand or under-cabinet mount are sold separately.

Being an Echo Show, the 15 has microphones and speakers but the firm hasn’t given specifics for these just yet. There’s also a front-facing camera which has a 5Mp sensor. We do know that the Echo Show 15 is powered by a new quad-core AZ2 Neural Edge processor.

Amazon says it’s “capable of processing speech recognition on device and can also process computer vision (CV) workloads in parallel.”

I might seem like a cheap laptop you can hang on a wall but the Echo Show 15 is largely about what it can do for you via Alexa and a bunch of new features. Amazon imagines it as a smart organisation and entertainment hub for the whole family to use.

Like Google’s Nest Hub Max, the Echo Show 15 can use the camera to recognise users via Visual ID. Once it know who is using the device, a personalised experience can be offered.

The improved interface now features Alexa widgets so you can put the things you want the most front and center. This includes a widget with your favourite smart devices including a Ring doorbell. The Show 15 can show you video feeds from your cameras while doing other things like listening to music via picture-in-picture.

Things like a shared family calendar and digital sticky notes will see the end of illegible scribbles on a traditional calendar and overlapping sticky notes stuck on the fridge. You can even teach Alexa things like your diet or favourite sports team.

Alexa is trained to recognise sounds like a glass breaking or baby crying but you’ll be able to teach it custom sounds that might be unique to your home. It’s called Custom Sound Detection and, for example, the beeping your fridge does so Alexa can notify you that the door is open.

With a large Full HD screen, the Echo Show 15 is arguably the best smart display on the market for entertainment. You can watch content via Prime Video or Netflix and Amazon has confirmed that Sling will arrive later this year.

As you would expect, there are privacy controls including a built-in shutter to cover the camera and the ability to switch mics off. You can also delete your voice recordings and Visual ID is optional and can be deleted at any time if you do use it. Amazon also says that all processing is done on the device.


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