EVERY MORNING I ask Alexa about the weather. One day last week, as my virtual assistant chirped out of Amazon’s new Echo Show smart speaker, I noticed the voice sounded muffled. I walked into the kitchen and found the Show’s 7-inch screen facing the wall. Weird. I asked Anna, my fiancée, if she’d moved it. “Yeah,” she said, between yoga poses on our living room floor. “It has a camera, it’s creepy. I didn’t want it watching me.”
Amazon didn’t build the $230 Echo Show, which augments the voice-powered Echospeaker with a camera and a touchscreen, for the privacy-conscious. It wants you embrace a gadget that can not only hear, but see. In exchange, you get a far more useful version of Alexa that can play movies, host video chats, and keep watch over your front door.