Amazon Adds More Inclusive Features to Echo Show

The News: Amazon recently announced three new Alexa features designed to enhance user experience when interacting with Alexa Echo Show. Those features include using gestures to stop timers, using text-to-speech to type out phrases and have them spoken out loud, and the enabling of captions at once. Read more from Amazon here.

Amazon Adds More Inclusive Features to Echo Show

Analyst Take: News of Amazon’s addition of more inclusive features to its Echo Show device did not surprise. In our briefings with the Amazon team, it’s clear that the company continues seeking ways of making their devices both easier to use and more inclusive for users in myriad ways, a trend we are seeing from other vendors as well.

The new functionality the Amazon device team is incorporating into its devices to make it easier for users is the ability to use gestures to interact with the device, the ability to use text-to-speech to type phrases and have them read out loud, and the enabling of captions.

From a gesture perspective, users can now silence functions such as alarms with the palm of their hand on the Echo Show 8 (2nd Generation or 3rd Generation) device. There are multiple use cases here, and one that springs immediately to mind is users with Echo devices in their kitchens. Hands that are busy cooking don’t want to touch screens and this gesture control is a feature that I believe will be quickly welcomed.

The text-to-speech function is also incredibly handy for people in myriad ways. As an example, the Tap to Alexa function allows the user to type out a phrase and then have them spoken out loud via the Echo Show device. It also allows users to save key phrases, which can be useful in so many instances. Imagine a situation where someone is caring for an elderly parent or someone who cannot speak. The user could create type messages that would then be activated across the home, much like an intercom system. That’s just one use case, but I can see this as being very attractive to users in multiple instances.

Another addition the Amazon device team has added is the ability for consolidated captions, which offers the ability to turn on call captioning, closed captioning, and Alexa captioning across supported Echo Show devices at once. This feature can also be used for the hearing impaired. With call captioning, the user can see captions for Alexa calls in real-time while Alexa captioning allows the users to see captions for Alexa responses.

Wrapping it up, the new features from Amazon allowing users to interact with its devices in ways that are more inclusive are absolutely where the market is headed today across multiple product categories — which is great to see.

Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.

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