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.