The Show 15 can also function as a 1080p TV for the kitchen with support for Hulu, Netflix, Prime Video, and later this year, Sling TV. And when it’s not in use, the laptop-sized screen can blend into the background as a smart picture frame, displaying family photos or other pre-selected art. The device will be available later this fall, the company says.
Alexa, the company’s voice-controlled digital assistant, is getting a variety of new skills that seem designed to dovetail with the Show 15.
For example, the digital assistant can now use a smart speaker’s camera to identify members of a household and allow them to see their individual calendars, messages, or even recently played music.
And, you can now set up alerts linked to sounds in your home; for example, a notification that lets you know the smart speaker has heard the beep your fridge makes when it’s left open.
The company also announced a potentially important privacy change for its higher-end devices.
Instead of sending all voice recordings to Amazon’s cloud servers for processing, the company’s more expensive smart speaker models will process some verbal commands—such as “turn on the lights”—locally on the device.
The option will be available on the Echo Show 10, Echo Show 15, and the fourth generation Echo, but not on less expensive devices, like the entry-level Echo Dot, which have more limited processing capabilities.