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Friday, May 24, 2024

“Amazon Echo”: The next model will be the center of your home (and life)

 Make calls, play films and music, control all household appliances: the new Amazon Echo should be able to do a lot and turn your home into a real smart home.

Do you remember the Simpsons episode of House of Horror called House of Whacks? You can ask your “Amazon Echo” to play the episode if you don’t know it, but here’s the basics: Pierce Brosnan (or his voice) plays a state-of-the-art home automation system called “The Ultrahouse” – and all is well until that CPU developed an unhealthy obsession with Marge Simpson. And since the family has given him absolute control of their house you can guess the rest.

The whole thing is of course a parody of “The Devil’s Seed” (Donald Cammell, 1977), although the episode also makes direct references to HAL 9000 from “2001: A Space Odyssey” (Stanley Kubrick, 1968). What we mean by that is that, well, the Simpsons also predicted Amazon’s possible new ingenuity: some sort of single home control center that would give Alexa the keys to your entire home life. Maybe it even comes with the option to choose the voice of the former James Bond actor, who knows?

New “Amazon Echo”: The costs should amount to 150 to 200 euros

Although the company has not yet officially confirmed anything, Bloomberg has already announced that this “Amazon Echo” will be similar to the “Show 10” ​​- only much thinner and much cheaper: between 150 and 200 euros, according to information on the website. The idea seems to be to place the device on a wall and let it centralize all of the smart management of your home. 

The screen, which is 33 inches or less, will be tactile and contain multiple menus, but this echo will of course also respond to voice commands. Imagine sitting in your living room and asking Alexa to make a call, play the new Foo Fighters album, turn down the heat, set an alarm and / or tell you what the weather is going to be like over the weekend without getting up from the couch.

New “Amazon Echo”: Already on the market in 2022?

Bloomberg claims the device could hit the market no later than 2022 but also has the usual caveat that it could be delayed or canceled. You never know what the guys at Lab126, Amazon’s hardware division, might decide next, but an Echo that you can attach to a vertical surface instead of just leaving the screen somewhere makes sense: after all, the company did before experimented with smart wall clocks. So the next step had to be the home control center, but be careful: The Simpsons have already shown us how intrusive such a system can be .

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