Amazon plans releasing a smaller sleeker Echo tabletop building upon the success of the connected device since its launch in 2014. With a few shaky first months, Amazon’s Echo has attracted more and more customers, becoming a serious competitor on the market.
Now, the new tabletop device is planned to lose the power cord and reduce size until it comfortably fits in someone’s palm. According to a Wall Street Journal report, sources familiar with the project revealed that Amazon plans releasing a smaller sleeker Echo tabletop codenamed Fox.
Amazon’s Echo is currently about the size of a Pringles pack. The cylinder-shaped tabletop is activated by voice commands as Alexa (Amazon’s voice assistant) patiently waits for you to dictate your command. Echo plays music, creates playlists, turns lights on and off (provided they are Internet-connected), answers questions and can even crack jokes every now and then. A true companion in the house. Currently, Amazon’s Echo needs to be plugged in to perform the tasks as asked.
The slimmer Echo would lose this feature. Instead, it would be activated by a button. Some have labeled this shift from a permanently available device to a button-activated one as unnecessary and cumbersome. Permanently charged if left in its docking station, the slimmer Echo needs your help to get it started. It won’t be voice activated as the current Echo, but it will continue responding to voice commands once the button is activated.
On the other hand, the slimmer and sleeker Echo device would run well under the 180 dollars price tag Amazon’s Echo currently sports. The new device is developed under the Lab126 umbrella. This is Amazon’s Silicon Valley lab where all the magic happens. From the secretive lab devices like the Kindle e-reader, the Fire tablet or the Fire phone have made their way to the market. Some with more success than others.
Amazon’s Echo is one of the success stories emerging from Lab126. Little after the tabletop’s launch in 2014, the voice-activated device became a hit sale. Voice assistants were already tickling everyone’s curiosity and Amazon’s Echo packing Alexa made no exception. While Amazon didn’t release any sales figures for the voice-assistant packing tabletop device, over 30,000 reviews on the website are telling of the success. It remains to be seen of Echo’s younger and sleeker sibling will match the glory.
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