When Bill Gates and Microsoft first ventured into consumer software and electronics, Mr Gates famously said that they were going to “Put a computer on every desktop and in every home”. It was a vision that spurred the development of Windows and launched Microsoft into a variety of consumer electronic ventures.
That vision evolved sometime in the late 1990’s. Microsoft realized that the onset of portable devices and computing everywhere was going to require a different sort of mindset and a broader approach. That revised thinking still drives the company today and is also the driving force behind most of the other major consumer electronics vendors.
Various turf battles have sprung up around certain aspects of computing. One of the biggest has been for control of the living room. This was a mantra at Microsoft in the formative years of Xbox. It was understood that whomever did the best job of providing a complete entertainment experience would also control the rest of the home-based needs for computers and software.
To a company like Microsoft, control of the living-room was essential. Based on the numbers of Xboxes sold, and the revenue their “Live” service generates, Microsoft has become very successful in the battle for control of the living room.
But another battle has been brewing and this time there’s a new leader at the forefront of development. Since the title of this article probably tipped you off to whom I’m talking about, there’s no surprise that I’m talking about Amazon.com.
Over the last couple of years, the company has undertaken a big shift in strategy from a “World’s Biggest Bookstore” toward a genuine hardware and software media giant. They’ve made investments in audio, books and video with their assorted “Prime Services” and then they created the devices which take best advantage of that media, including Sticks, TV Boxes, and Tablets.
In the past year they’ve created another category of product whose full impact has yet to be felt. The Amazon Echo appliances are among the most interesting and useful devices that we’ve had come into the market in years. They are also leading us in a direction in which human/computer/Internet activity becomes one of a unified natural dialog, rather than a piecemeal and fragmented experience.
This is the new “battle for the living-room” only this time it involves the entire house and probably workplace as well.
I’ve previously written about the other Echo devices, but today I wanted to let you know about the latest member of the Echo Family, the Echo Show. The Echo Show is the video extension of the already popular Amazon Echo. So, if you’re familiar with that device, then you already know what it’s about. Now, just add video.
The reason this, and other products like it are important is because we are rapidly evolving into an Internet of Things (IOT) that demands coordination. We are seeking both a method and medium for control. Without the proper anchor to all these “things” we’ll have nothing but a bunch of disconnected and semi-useful technologies.
I can’t go into details yet because the product is still pre-order. If you want one this year, you’ll probably want to pre-order as well. They are going to be popular. I’ll give you the specs below and take a look for yourself.
Amazon Echo Show
- Echo Show brings you everything you love about Alexa, and now she can show you things. Watch video flash briefings and YouTube, see music lyrics, security cameras, photos, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists, and more. All hands-free—just ask.
- Introducing a new way to be together. Make hands-free video calls to friends and family who have an Echo Show or the Alexa App, and make voice calls to anyone who has an Echo or Echo Dot.
- See lyrics on-screen with Amazon Music. Just ask to play a song, artist or genre, and stream over Wi-Fi. Also, stream music on Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and more.
- Powerful, room-filling speakers with Dolby processing for crisp vocals and extended bass response
- Ask Alexa to show you the front door or monitor the baby’s room with compatible cameras from Ring and Arlo. Turn on lights, control thermostats and more with WeMo, Philips Hue, ecobee, and other compatible smart home devices.
- With eight microphones, beam-forming technology, and noise cancellation, Echo Show hears you from any direction—even while music is playing
- Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Uber, Allrecipes, CNN, and more
Some customer reviews
There are currently no reviews because the product is a pre-order only.