Amazon set to unveil touchscreen Echo device with video calling capabilities

Tyrone Stewart
Amazon Echo touchscreen
Evan Blass/@evleaks(Twitter)

Amazon could be set to unveil the its latest Echo device – one with a seven-inch touchscreen – as early as today (9 May).

According to the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, the new Amazon Echo has been in beta testing for months. The device will feature a display and camera that will pave the way for video call through the smart speaker, but this feature will be rolled out in stages.

The full details are not quite yet known but the device’s display, judging by the leaked images, will present the time, date, weather, notifications, and reminders of plans. There may also be a role to play for Alexa skill cards.

Having a camera also opens the door to the possibility of the device having some of the features that the Echo Look carries. The Look – which was unveiled at the end of April – can be used to take hands-free photos and video, as well as acting as a style advisor.

Rumours originally surfaced a few days ago when leaked images of the product were revealed. It has since been uncovered that the device will cost $299.99 and be released 28 June – with pre-orders due to begin this week. It is expected to cost £219.99 in the UK and €239.99 in Germany, though release dates have not been discovered for those locations.

The big unveiling of the new Echo is likely to take a little bit of the shine away from Microsoft, which just entered the smart speaker game with Harman Kardon's Invoke Cortana-powered device.

UPDATE (09/05/17): Amazon has now unveiled the device, named the Echo Show.