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More supply chain makers vying for growing smart speaker market

01 October 2017, 12:33 | Eugene Bates

Google developing an Amazon Echo Show competitor: Report

Amazon announces new Echo, Echo Plus and Echo Spot

That could include things like Duo and Hangouts for video calling or Google Photos which could help drive the device as a virtual picture frame when in standby.

The last of the new batch, the Echo Button is a set of tiny button shaped similar to Echo Dot to let you control Echo devices with greater force.

Echo Spot features second generation far-field technology with four microphones, acoustic beam-forming technology, and enhanced noise cancellation so it can hear you from across the room-even while music is playing. The Manhattan smart screen could also be a way for Google to push its Duo and Hangouts video calling services to more users. Code-named Manhattan, it would take on the Echo Show directly.

Aside from competing with the Amazon Echo Show, Google's Manhattan device could deliver an experience that Google Home is incapable of doing since it doesn't have its own screen.

Multiple unnamed sources told TechCrunch that the device, now known as "Manhattan", will feature a similar size screen to the 7-inch Echo Show. The Echo Plus is compatible with ZigBee products from leading manufacturers such as Philips, Hue, GE, Kwikset, and more. And the user's phone number will be displayed as caller ID. Fire TV is also the best place to enjoy Amazon Video's expansive collection of movies and TV shows, including the largest selection of 4K/UHD content available to stream today.

It is unlikely that your Echo will suddenly start blasting out the weather report, but it may make a tone sound, or light up part of the ring on your device.

Of course, Google likely sees such a device as a way to get additional exposure for their own products and platforms. According to a report from Verge, Amazon will launch the Echo Show in Germany and United Kingdom soon. Unveiled in May, the $229.99 device sports a 7-inch touch screen and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls. Those alliances with automakers still might not be enough keep Amazon and Alexa competitive with Google and Apple outside the home, given the software made by those two power most of the smartphones in the world. They're looking at a 2018 release but there is also pressure to announce it by the end of the year.

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