Amazon's Echo has been a hit, and it's enjoyed nearly two full years without serious competition until Google released Google Home in October. And as Apple still struggles to release its own Siri-powered personal assistant for the home, Amazon is already set to launch a new smart home product in early 2017.
The company is said to be developing a more expensive version of Echo with a speaker and a 7-inch touchscreen, with plans of making it optimal for a the kitchen as a hub of the home. The product will "tilt upward" like a tablet on a stand to make it easy for users to see when it's set on a counter and will possibly include a feature to pin photos to the screen like putting a note on the fridge.
The device will be powered by Amazon's Fire OS, which also runs Fire tables and Fire TV set-top box, and will rely on Alexa for voice-commands like the Echo. Amazon will continue selling Dot, Tap, and Echo speakers, which a source told Bloomberg are optimal for living rooms and bedrooms. The new device with a screen will likely cost more than the $180 Echo.