Amazon.com, Inc., reported that it is working on developing a wall-mounted, large touchscreen, smart display – Echo device. The company’s hardware research and development team, Lab126, is focusing on designing and engineering its first digital-command center designed specifically for wall mounting. The new Echo device would be launched in direct competition to the wall-framed Apple iPad and Control4 Corp’s smart-home devices. The previously built Echo devices were portable unlike the new one. The device touchscreen display size could be about 10 to 13 inches, and will be integrated with features similar to that of a smart display such as to play music/ media player, video chat feature, built-in camera, smart-home control panel and Alexa. Wall-mounted devices give users options to position the hardware as per their suitability around the house instead of placing it on tabletops, desks, etc., thus eliminating possibility to losing the device.
The company’s penchant for mounting devices on wall is not a new venture as it has experimented with Echo wall-clocks, previously. Another feature of the new Echo is that it can be wall-mounted using third-party accessories. The company announced that the launch date of the device could be either by 2021 end or 2022, and would be priced between US$ 200 and US$ 250. It is rumored that the launch dates may change or the launch might get cancelled as it depends on the company’s this year’s projections and revenue growth.
Recently, the company reported that it is also working on a novel Alexa-powered radar-equipped device that can monitor user’s sleep and analyze for signs of sleep apnea. Codename for this device is ‘Brahms’, named after Johannes Brahms, the German composer of Lullaby song. The device would be minuscule-sized and can be placed anywhere near the bedside. Using the millimeter-wave (mmWave) radar, it will capture user’s breathing pattern and track signs of sleep apnea and other sleep related disorders.
In August 2020, Amazon.com, Inc., designed and launched a high-tech fitness tracker named ‘Halo’. The smart watch can detect user’s tone and determine how positive the person sounds and do 3D scans for body fat, apart from keeping a track of daily fitness activities. The innovative tone feature uses machine-learning to analyze positivity and energy in the users’ voice, so that they understand better about how they sound to others, and improvise their communication and relationships. The Halo-band and Halo-service with its extraordinary features are priced at US$ 64.99, with 6-month Halo membership. Amazon Halo may not have a smart touchscreen display like smart-watches; however, it has strong sensors such as a temperature sensor, accelerometer, two microphones, heart-rate monitor, LED indicator light, and an on-off key to switch off or on microphones, among some other functions.