As Amazon continues to expand the Echo lineup beyond speakers and smart displays, the new report suggests that the company's Lab126 hardware division is developing the device to act as a digital command center. As you might expect, Alexa is at the core of the experience, though the touchscreen will also be able to give users manual control over elements such as smart home lighting, calendar events and music.
Microphones and a camera for video conferencing will also be included in the device, according to the outlet's anonymous sources. As it stands, Amazon is said to be considering multiple variations of the new device, with screens of either 10-inches or 13-inches.
This would follow the company's strategy with the Echo Show devices, though the control panel would reportedly come in a bit costlier than the smart display line, with internal discussions currently suggesting a price tag of around $200 - $250 ahead of a potential launch at the end of 2021 or 2022.
Since plans are still early, though, according to the source, it's also very possible the Echo command center never sees the light of day.
If it does, it will give Alexa users a more affordable alternative to bespoke, high-end smart home control solutions as offered by companies like Control4. And, given the sheer range of connected devices under Amazon's own name, having an all-in-one device to unify them all does appear to make sense.
It might also put an end to the mountains of plastic accessories available to those who wish to mount their palm-sized Echo Dot onto the wall, too.