From the horse’s mouth
Echo Show 15 smart display
Amazon had announced amongst a raft of gadgets for the smart home, a 15” electronic picture frame that works as part of the Alexa voice-assistant ecosystem.
This device, called the Echo Show 15, has a 15” Full HD screen with a picture-frame-style bezzel. Here it has the ability to show photos or other images from image collections but can show scheduling and other information widgets that are part of various Alexa Skills.
Like the refreshed Echo Show smart-display product range that were part of this product announcement, this device uses edge computing with local processing to assure end users of their privacy as well as provide increased responsiveness with the Alexa voice assistant. But the silicon that is within the Amazon Echo 15 is also optimised for computer vision as well as voice recognition.
A built-in Webcam and microphone allows the Echo Show 15 picture frame to become a group videophone for the videoconferencing ecosystems that the Amazon Echo / Alexa ecosystem support. As well the Webcam supports Face ID for instant personalisation so when particular users who are enrolled with this frame look at it, they get a personalised information view. But the Webcam and mic can be shut off with a slide switch and there is even a camera shutter to assure better user privacy.
The Amazon Echo Show 15 is also expected to work with entertainment and information services that are part of the Alexa ecosystem. Here it could be about connection to online news and entertainment services that are available in your country. If you want better sound than what the integrated speakers offer, you can pair it with Bluetooth speakers or a Bluetooth audio adaptor connected to a sound system.
It is also intended to work with the Alexa smart-home ecosystem including working with compatible videosurveillance cameras. This could mean that you could see who is at the door on your Alexa Echo Show 15 screen for example.
It can be wall-mounted or be free-standing with an optional kickstand or even be mounted under the kitchen cupboards using an optional mounting kit. Here, you can have this display in a horizontal landscape orientation or in a vertical portrait orientation so it fits in with your home décor.
Personally, I see this Amazon Echo 15 as part of Amazon’s effort to extend the Alexa ecosystem to display devices that have a screen size of greater than 10” and to have such devices work as part of the ambient computing vision that they have. It could even be a chance for Google or Apple to eye up the idea of having smart displays larger than 10” on the Google Assistant (Home) or Apple Siri (Homepod) platforms.