Alexa adds video sharing and everyday memories to Echo Show smart displays

Echo Show smart display owners can now record and share videos with their Alexa contacts and set up an AI-curated daily memory image on the device. Both features are part of Amazon’s regular rollout of additional Alexa and Echo capabilities that it has decided not to highlight individually in a title, but are still worth highlighting in its turnaround. monthly news horizon from Alexa.

Videos & Memories

The new Daily Memories feature for Echo Show allows the smart display to automatically select user-provided photos to select a new one each day. The choice comes from the photo collections the user gives access to, but relies on Alexa’s AI to choose a good one. It’s a lot like the similar option for Fire TV screensavers, which fits Amazon’s strategy of blurring the lines between a smart display and a smart TV. Homemade movies that people make with their Echo Shows, meanwhile, can now be sent directly to their friends with the same device. The result is a bit like video voicemail, with the benefit of not needing to be physically present like they would on a live video call. Asynchronous communication uses the smart display’s camera and microphone to record the message, which can then be sent to any contact with a similar device using the Alexa mobile app or Echo Show . They can then express their feelings via video emojis.

“Say ‘Alexa, record video’ to start recording video on your Echo Show device. Once recorded, you can tell Alexa to share the video with any of your Alexa contacts,” Amazon explained in a blog post. The recipient will be able to send back a reaction by choosing one of three animated emoji options from the Alexa app or their Echo Show device, including “laugh”, “like” and “wow”.

Echo Upgrades

Sharing videos and keeping photos aren’t as big a deal as the new Alexa voice profiles for kids or Amazon Music’s new DJ mode, but they demonstrate the holistic approach to improving Alexa and its hardware being pursued by the tech giant. The biggest Alexa development this month, however, could be the rollout of the upgraded Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 5, as well as the new kid-focused Echo Show 5 Kids revealed in May. offer better hardware and better features, although their appearance is largely unchanged from their predecessors. The new Echo Show 8 is a bonus for video messaging as it boosts the camera from 1 megapixel to 13 megapixels which makes the picture much sharper. The camera can also pan and zoom to follow a user’s face, adding more dynamism to the message, if not as much as the Echo Show 10’s swivel screen.

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Shirley K. Rosa