The Wall Street Journal reports the new-look Echo will be about the size of a beer can, and is “designed to fit comfortably in the palm of a user’s hand.”
This tiny new Echo is said to jettison one major feature of the original: always on listening. Instead, you’ll have to press a button to activate Alexa. It’s believed to be cordless, though, charging via a base rather than needing a direct link to your outlet at all times.
To that, it’ll be portable enough to drag around the house with you, though it’s not clear who’s been clamoring for such a device. Like so many other problems, the best solution is the one you’ve got in your pocket: a smartphone. If I am curious about something, I’ll ask Siri well ahead of Alexa. Other features, like voice-activated shopping, aren’t fully fleshed out yet.
Smaller and without always-on listening, it’s reasonable to believe the smaller Echo will be cheaper. The current model is $179.99 on Amazon.
➤ Amazon to Release Portable Version of Echo Speaker in Coming Weeks [The Wall Street Journal]