Amazon just announced a trio of new features for Echo Show users, with gesture controls topping the list.
In other words, you can now perform physical gestures in front of the screen, and the integrated camera translates these gestures into in-device adjustments. Just raise your hand to activate or dismiss a timer, so you won’t have to physically tap the device or yell “stop” at poor, misunderstood Alexa.
The company notes that this feature is great for users with mobility or vocal issues, and while it’s the only useful gesture right now, Amazon is working on more. To that end, the big “A” recently made gesture-programming tools available for developers.
Of course, this is a trio of new features, and gestures are just the start. Echo Show devices now include a text-to-speech functionality, too. Type stuff out, and Alexa will repeat the words out loud. This will be an extremely useful tool for those with speech disabilities, giving them an easier way to communicate with others in the home.
Finally, the company has streamlined the captioning process to make it more comprehensive and, well, useful. You can now enable or disable all captions simultaneously without having to head into different sections of the settings app. Calling Consolidated Captions, it controls call captioning, closed captioning, and Alexa captioning.
These features are available right now, with an update, though the gesture controls are only available for the Echo show 8 (2nd Gen), the Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen), and above.