It often takes a while while using a smart speaker when your brain asks you the question whether the same task could not be easily achieved on a phone. Truth is being told, there is some point in this thinking. In addition to quickly pulling up a chosen song or ruling out random trivia to impress guests, smart speakers, although they are able to theoretically, have always been handicapped by the lack of a visual interface.
Fortunately, manufacturers have warned this fact, and 2018 have seen an influx of devices that have the core of a smart speaker with a screen thrown in. Amazon, which has the Alexa-powered Echo series of devices, started with Echo Show, which did not officially make it to India, and Google soon launches its own smart screen.
However, Amazon has not left its thumb, and further work down the display loudspeaker has brought us to the device mentioned here ̵
On the outside
Ekko spot is an innocent little device that would not look in the nightstand by a sign from Black Mirror . It looks pretty like a slippery bullet with a side cut off to house a 2.5-inch circular touchscreen with a camera placed over it on the big square. Yes, the place comes with a camera, more about it later.
The back of the device receives power and an aux output to connect Spot to a stronger speaker setup, while the top has three buttons – volume up and down and a microphone switch.
What does it do?
Echo Spot is an Alexa device through and through, but the touch screen gives a whole new dimension. Setting up is a breeze, as the screen makes it easy to choose WiFi networks and allows users to enter passwords on it. The circular display is not the most intuitive way to display a keyboard, and people with big fingers will not enjoy the experience, but it works.
When the drive is up, it displays a cool clock that utilizes the circular display. The style of the clock can also be customized, from minimalist to jazzy backgrounds, and it also allows personal images to be used. The screen is also useful in other areas, especially when Alexa's Skills are taken into consideration. Whether you order items on Amazon, get dinner with Zomato or order a Uber or Ola, the visual aid makes a big difference. Yes, Alexa still reads a massive amount of information about the best-selling chicken butter masala or the finest cold brewery, but the touch screen lets you quickly choose an option and proceed to the next stage of the process. We are still not sold for this to beat the experience on a smartphone, but the display on this device provides values for what was otherwise a cumbersome process.
While it's the subject of the screen, it can also play videos from YouTube and Amazon Prime Video, as well as content from news providers as part of the flash bulletin feature. While we enjoyed a quick video that came with the news while making a cup of coffee, there is no sound reason to see Suits Season 3 on a circular 2.5-inch screen.
The spot on, but, is relatively easy to navigate, and reminiscent of a smart clock in many ways. Swiping to the right of the clock shows reminders and alerts, messages left by other Alexa owners and trending topics according to Amazon. A sweep from the top offers brightness control – which Spot does not seem to adjust via voice input for some reason – a home button, settings and night mode. Night mode can be configured to display a weak version of the clock in predefined times, which is a godsend.