Amazon announced a handful of updates to its Echo Show range of smart screens this morning. The most interesting element at the top level is the addition of a pan and zoom camera to the middle level Echo show. The function is similar to that on the various portal devices from Facebook and the high-end Nest Hub Max from Google.
Essentially, it was designed to keep the subject in the frame. Apple recently introduced the similar Center Stage features for the latest iPad Pro. It comes after Amazon introduced a far less subtle version on the Echo Show 10 that actually follows the theme by pivoting the display around the base. I know that if I’ve sneaked out a bit and see it in action, I’m not alone.
The new feature is included in the Show 8’s 13-megapixel camera, which is coupled with a built-in physical shutter – a key pillar as Amazon always wants to be one step ahead of privacy talks. The 8-inch HD display is powered by an upgrade octa-core processor and coupled with stereo speakers. The new Show 8 costs $ 130.
The other big news here is the arrival of the Echo Show 5 Kids – the really new product in the range. The kid-friendly version of the screen costs $ 95 and comes with a customizable home screen, a colorful design, a two-year warranty on creakers, and a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids +.
There’s also a new version of the regular Show 5 with an updated HD camera, new colors, and additional software features. That costs $ 85. The new devices can be pre-ordered today and will be shipped this month.