“The Amazon Echo family may get even bigger,” Ben Fox Rubin reports for CNET. “Amazon will likely reveal a new Echo device with a built-in screen next month, a person familiar with the plans told CNET. This information comes just after Amazon on Wednesday introduced the Echo Look, a smart speaker with a built-in camera.”

“The person said Amazon had been working to more fully develop its Echo devices, but it appeared to get a ‘wake-up call’ last week after Google said its Home smart speakers can now identify multiple users, a feature Echo devices don’t have. Amazon’s devices team may now be looking to speed up introduction of these products so they can stay ahead of Google, the person added,” Rubin reports. “The rush to get out a new version of its hit speaker underscores the fierce battle raging to dominate your home and connected devices. While Amazon enjoyed a significant lead in getting its Echo into homes and has aggressively built up the capabilities of its Alexa voice assistant, Google is coming on strong with its own Home speaker. Whichever companies are able to dominate will be able to embed their products deeply into people’s lives for years to come.”

“Apple is also reportedly working on its own Echo and Home competitor with a built-in camera,” Rubin reports. “While voice assistants can tackle simple commands, the screen could allow Alexa to respond to more complex queries, said Jan Dawson, an analyst at Jackdaw Research who didn’t have direct knowledge of the company’s plans. For example, voice shopping on the Echo today often requires users to wait and listen to multiple choices, but a screen could present those options all at once.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: An Echo with a display – with touch, we assume – would certainly speed up use on more complex cases.

Apple said to be working on a Siri-based Amazon Echo rival – April 27, 2017
Apple’s Amazon Echo echo: What if AirPort Extreme becomes the Siri speaker? – December 1, 2016
Apple abandons development of wireless routers – November 21, 2016
Apple’s Amazon Echo echo – September 26, 2016
Apple’s Amazon Echo rival said to include includes built-in cameras to read users’ emotions, recognize faces – September 23, 2016
Apple’s Siri-powered Amazon Echo-like device reportedly now in prototype testing – September 23, 2016
Why an ‘Apple Echo’ would be a hit – June 15, 2016
New Apple TV to take on Amazon’s Echo, source says – May 26, 2016
Apple preps Amazon Echo rival, opening up Siri – May 24, 2016
Apple should make a stationary voice command device like Amazon’s Echo – May 19, 2016
Google unveils its Amazon Echo knockoff called ‘Google Home’ – May 18, 2016
Where’s Apple’s answer to Amazon Echo? – March 31, 2016
Amazon Echo leads mindshare in smart home platform war – February 29, 2016
Why did Apple buy a startup whose tech can read emotions via facial recognition?/a> – January 7, 2016
Apple buys Emotient, maker of artificial-intelligence tech that reads emotion by analyzing facial expressions – January 7, 2016