Amazon launches new Echo with touch screen, video-call capabilities

Amazon’s Echo Show features a 7-inch touch screen.

Amazon.com Inc. on Tuesday unveiled a new Echo speaker with a screen that will incorporate video-calling capabilities, keeping the online retailer one step ahead of technology rivals in seeking to control smart homes.

The Echo Show announcement, which confirmed a Wall Street Journal article on Monday, also allows users to make internet-based calls between devices and apps to start, setting the speaker up to be core to a home’s communications.

Equipped with a 7-inch touch screen, the device will be able to visually summon answers to verbal questions, providing                                                                                                                                                     information like e-commerce search                                                                                                                                                        results in a more digestible fashion.

The new Echo, which has been in beta testing with employees for a few months, starts shipping to consumers on June 28. The new device will be priced at $229.99. The current Echo speaker, which doesn’t have a screen, usually sells for $179.99, although it is currently on sale for $149.99.

LAURA STEVENS|Amazon

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