Today Amazon hosted an event to announce a slew of new products. From a new bigger Echo Show, thermostats, doorbells, health trackers, and more. Here, we’ll be focusing on several of them, starting with the new 15-inch wall-mountable Echo Show, its neat new Amazon Glow projector display for kids, and a few other exciting products.
Previously, leaks suggested Amazon had a new Wall Echo coming, Fire TV soundbars, home robots, and a bunch of wearable devices. It turns out, most of those rumors were true. Now that many of these products are official and coming soon, here’s what you need to know.
Amazon Echo Show 15-inch
'Hey Disney' Voice Assistant for Echo Devices
Amazon Echo Show 15-inch
The new Amazon Echo Show 15 is the largest smart display we’ve seen from the company yet. Coming in at 15.6-inches, the 1080p flat display can mount directly to your wall and act as a smart home hub. It’s basically a giant tablet, as there’s no bulky speaker attached like previous Echo devices that sit on a table.
At just $249, the Echo Show 15 could be an excellent option for many families. It does everything a regular Echo Show does, such as asking Alexa to play music, tell you the weather, stream videos or how-tos, and of course, controlling your smart home gadgets. Plus all the routines and other things people do with Alexa. There’s an integrated 5MP camera for video chats and a dedicated switch that closes the camera shutter and disables the microphone for privacy.
Additionally, Amazon updated the software to take full advantage of the large 15-inch touchscreen. Users can place widgets on one side of the screen to show constant important information like reminders, to-do lists, a calendar, or quick controls for all of your favorite smart home items. Amazon will offer a host of helpful widgets, and 3rd party developers can tap in and add them as well.
Unfortunately, you can’t completely customize the experience, as half the screen will always show the typical content of an Amazon Show device. That said, it’s still bigger than most, plus it has all the benefits of the extra real estate.
As you can see above, the Echo Show 15 can be mounted vertically on a wall or horizontally. That way, owners can choose whatever works best for them or their walls.
If you don’t want to mount the Echo Show 15 on a wall, dock options are available. And if you do choose to put it on a table or in the kitchen, it’s the first Echo Show to support full HD resolution streaming from Netflix, Amazon’s Prime Video, Hulu, and others. Furthermore, Amazon’s display now works with Sling TV for streaming TV content, TikTok, and other 3rd party apps.
Use Amazon’s biggest Echo Show as a smart home hub, a picture frame, or like a standard Echo. The choice is yours. It’ll be available “later this year,” and you can order one from the link below.
Amazon Echo Show 15
Get Amazon's biggest and best Echo Show 15 for your counter or a wall, starting at $249.
This next device is a unique gadget Amazon built specifically for kids. The Amazon Glow is essentially a video chat tablet with a large 8-inch display and a built-in projector for user interaction and learning. The Amazon Glow will be $299 when it arrives later this year, but those interested can sign up for early access (invite-only) and get a $249 introductory price. For $299, you’ll get the Glow and a 1-year subscription to the Amazon Kids Plus service.
As you can see from the image above, the device sits on a table and is perfect for interactive learning considering the ongoing pandemic. Better yet, it has a tabletop projector to kick things up a notch. The projector displays a 19-inch screen down on a white mat, which comes in the box, and allows for all types of interaction.
What makes it unique is the shared display during video calls. What we mean by that is parents, grandparents, or teachers can install the app on their Fire tablet or iPad, and it’ll mirror what the kid sees being projected down on the table. Thus, delivering a 2-way experience that’s more engaging and interactive. Children often get bored during video calls with family members, and this is a great way to solve that.
When projecting, the Amazon Kids Plus service delivers all sorts of books, learning apps, puzzles, and even fun games. Plus, some are animated and will interact with the user at the same time. As an example, Books are animated with cartoon characters from some of Disney’s top sellers, including Frozen, Toy Story, SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Sesame Street, and more.
We’re not entirely sure how useful or capable it is as a standalone device, but it’ll make for great video calls. Like most of Amazon’s new products, it’ll be available “later this year” for $299.
‘Hey Disney’ Voice Assistant for Echo Devices
Speaking of Disney, Amazon announced that sometime in 2022, users would be able to set up Disney voices on Echo devices. All your favorite characters will come to live on Echo devices at Walt Disney Resort locations. Eventually, regular Echo owners will be able to buy individual voices as Alexa skills.
Until it’s available for regular users, you’ll be able to experience over 1,000 “magical interactions” from Disney characters on Echo devices at Disney resorts. While Amazon didn’t show it off on stage, we imagine hotel rooms will have Echo Devices users can ask questions, then get responses from Mickey, Dory, and others. Imagine Elsa telling your kids what time Disney Land opens and where to go to see her. It’s a neat idea, and we’ll have to wait before we see and hear more.
And finally, Amazon also announced a new “Alexa Together” subscription service, similar to the original “Care Hub” option inside the Alexa mobile app.
With Alexa Together, families with aging family members can easily interact, communicate, and keep in touch. Amazon says it’s beneficial for the elderly who live independently but still need some support from family and friends. The subscription is $19.99 per month and adds urgent response features, access to emergency helplines, and several existing features from the Alexa Care Hub.
For example, a family member can sign in and get access to an aging family member’s doctor calls, care alerts, medication reminders, and more. Plus, if your parent asks Alexa for help or has an emergency, you’ll immediately be alerted to the inquiry. Eventually, this will be great for friends, family members, caregivers, and even trusted neighbors in the case of an emergency.
The subscription is free for the first 6-months, then runs $19.99 per month.
Amazon’s new Echo Show 15 looks like a great addition to the Echo lineup and could be an excellent way to create a central hub for your entire smart home controls. The Echo Show 15 and everything else detailed here is coming later this year or in early 2022.