Amazon working on "premium Echo-like speaker": Report

Amazon was working on "a premium Echo-like speaker" with a touchscreen display measuring roughly seven inches, Bloomberg reported.

According to the report, the new Echo speaker would work with Amazon's Alexa digital assistant - much like the current Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Tap speakers, but the new 7-inch touchscreen could be used for quicker access to personal info, like weather forecasts and calendar appointments.

According to commentators, it all sounded like a fusion of the Echo and the popular Fire tablets the ecommerce giant sells today. They add, it should not be surprising, then, to hear that the new device would reportedly use an "optimized version" of Fire OS, Amazon's operating system for those tablets.

In a software update, Amazon brought Alexa to newer Fire tablets in late October, though it was not yet clear if interacting with Alexa on this new speaker would work in a similar fashion.

According to Bloomberg, the device would "tilt upwards" - which would theoretically make it easier to touch on, say, a counter or nightstand - and that it would use higher quality speakers than the current Echo, which was often criticised for its lacking audio quality (relative to other $180 speakers, at least).