We got our first look at Verizon’s Smart Display last month thanks to an FCC archive. Yesterday, Amazon confirmed the device’s existence as part of the Alexa Live presentation. It is being introduced as part of the Alexa Custom Assistant program that enables third-party manufacturers to add custom assistants built on top of Alexa technology to their products, and we regret to inform you that it looks as useless as we do first suspect.
Here’s what it offers: standard smart display stuff, like an eight-inch screen, 4GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi connectivity, and of course Alexa. It also comes with LTE, a specification that is included in FCC archiving and verified CNET after the announcement. However, the purpose of 4G seems to be limited to providing connectivity while setting up or troubleshooting Verizon home internet. Amazon says this will reduce the need to “send service technicians to the customer̵
There are also Verizon service-specific commands that you can access by saying “Hello, Verizon”, such as checking your bill or running a speed test. You know things you can easily do on your phone or computer. You can ask questions from the Verizon smart assistant type, like the current weather, but based on a promotional video published by Amazon, it looks like Verizon will … just ask Alexa for you. Hmm.
If you ever thought to yourself, “Myself, wouldn’t it be great to have a way to check my phone bill hands-free while eating a sandwich in the kitchen?” so maybe you just found your match. Otherwise, this does not exactly look like the smartest of smart screens.
Verizon has not yet revealed a price or fixed release date; CNET reports that the monitor will be available later this year in limited beta testing with Verizon home Internet customers.