Two years after rumors first surfaced about a top secret Amazon project to develop a kitchen computer, today we may finally have a hint of what the company had in mind when rumors first surfaced in August 2015.
Not that Amazon is calling the Echo Show a kitchen computer since, after all, the new device can do a whole lot more. With a 7″ touch screen, full microphone array, a camera for machine vision and more, Amazon obviously sees this device as a video, voice and touch enabled Swiss Army knife for most any room in the home.
But let’s be honest, half of Echos ending up in the kitchen, and with the new features offered up by this new video-enabled Echo device, this is the most kitchen-friendly from Amazon yet.
Video Skills: By adding a 7″ touchscreen and video-enabled skills, the Echo Show finally offers kitchen-centric content creators a medium to delivery visually rich content. The Food Network has already created an Alexa Skill to send recipes from your favorite cooking shows to the Amazon Echo, but I can pretty much guarantee they and other video-centric food content producers are chomping at the bit to create video-enabled skills.
All of which is good because…
Kitchen Use Cases Require Visual Communication: One could argue that outside of the entertainment area/living room, the kitchen is the most visual of all rooms. The combination of voice commands combined with visual display that can surface cooking videos, recipes, shopping lists, food inventories and so much more makes it a natural for the kitchen.
It Can Also See: Much like the Echo Look, the Show has a camera. While obviously for video communication, I also envision the camera being used to read bar or QR codes, identify products by sight, remote home monitoring and even enabling contextual recommendations based on whether its dad or daughter standing in front of it.
Video Communication And Monitoring: The kitchen is the central gathering place in the home, where family entertains, eats and just hangs out. With a built-in video intercom, this allows mom or dad to check in the kids while making dinner, see who is at the door, or even place a phone call to grandma using the built-in video intercom or calling technology.
Bottom line, while it isn’t just for the kitchen, I suspect the Show was made in large part with the kitchen in mind. And while I am not sure if the Show is what Amazon originally envisioned when it was dreaming of the kitchen computer back in 2015, I am pretty sure this is what the original project has become.
Stay tuned for more thoughts on the Echo Home….