Amazon Alexa's flagship smart display got a big upgrade at Amazon's annual Devices and Services event this week. The company showed off the new Echo Show 10, which not only boasts an improved HD display and a better speaker - featuring dual, front-firing tweeters and a powerful woofer - but it's also got some moves.
That's right, the Show 10 can pan, tilt, and zoom, keeping you in frame wherever you are in the room thanks to a silent brushless motor and a new AZ1 neural processor that can recognize the form of a human body (different from the facial recognition the Google Nest Hub Max employs for a similar feature).
This means it will physically pan and digitally zoom to keep you in the frame of the camera while on a video call, or keep the screen in your vision if you're following a recipe while moving around the kitchen. This neat trick is similar to the literally only decent feature of the Facebook Portal device, which uses a digital pan and zoom to stay on you during video calls.
With the Show 10 you can now chat with grandma while you make dinner, or have a girls night with friends while relaxing on the couch - no need to hold up your phone or have your laptop in front of you. (Group calling is coming soon with Amazon's new Chime video conferencing skill, as is support for Zoom, Skype is already live.)
The Echo Show 10 costs $249 and replaces the slightly long in the tooth Echo Show, which launched in 2018, joining the lineup as the biggest sibling out of the Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8, the numbers all indicating screen size.
Incoming: Amazing new Alexa features coming soon
Hardware features include a 13 megapixel camera, the motorized automatic swivel and a manual tilt function, as well as radios for Zigbee, Bluetooth LE, and Amazon‚Äôs upcoming Sidewalk network, making it a fully-fledged smart home hub (minus Z-Wave, although you can pair it to a SmartThings hub or Ring Alarm to connect Z-Wave devices).
There is also a physical privacy shutter for the camera, and you can turn off the motion feature with your voice if you want it to stop following you around.
But the best bit is Netflix is finally making its way to an Echo Show 10 screen near you, later this year. Joining Hulu and Prime Video on the platform, the addition of the top streaming service makes this a strong contender for the best smart screen for your kitchen.
You can use all the regular Alexa features here, too, including Drop In. And the camera will work as a security cam to check in on the dog, you can even remotely rotate the screen to take a look around the room.
It also works with Alexa Guard Mode and will periodically pan around the room when Away Mode is activated, checking to a see if person in its field of view, and alerting you via the Alexa app if it spots someone.
You can expect lots of cool features to come to the device as well, as Amazon has released motion and sensing APIs to developers so they can create skills using the Show 10's unique features.
The Echo Show 10 comes in white and black and as mentioned, it's $249.99. It's available for pre-order now and will ship in time for the holidays.
Amazon also used its big September hardware event to take the covers off of the 2020 Echo Dot models, a new Echo with Zigbee hub, a flying Ring security camera, a pair of new Fire TV Sticks and a Wi-Fi 6 powered Eero 6 mesh system.