Amazon Echo Spot coming to the United Kingdom on 24 January

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The Alexa voice platform has over 12,000 skills now and that India has a lot to do with it. Alexa and Amazon's Echo speakers made their India debut on October 31, 2017 with close to 11,000 skills - in line with its U.S. skill-set - and "in less than 60 days of the Alexa India skill store going live, Amazon has added more than 1,000 new skills to the store", the company announced on Tuesday. Customers can order the device, which combines numerous abilities of Amazon's Alexa with a display screen, on Amazon's website, with shipping of the Echo Spot scheduled to begin on 24 January, said Amazon.

Amazon is bringing another Echo smart home device to the United Kingdom, this time in the shape of the alarm clock-inspired Echo Spot.

It's certainly something you won't mind having on show in your home and has a better design than the Echo Show.

The Echo Spot is a cross between an Echo Dot and a smaller version of the Amazon Show.

It has graphics added to core skills such as weather, news, timers and sport, the ability to make video calls and "drop in" on other Show or Spot users.

CNET reviewer Ry Crist praised the Spot's good looks and speedy responses but cautioned that its screen doesn't add as much functionality as you might expect.

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Like all Echo speakers the Spot has plenty of neat tricks up its sleeve with the device able to turn on the lights, set the heating and even show live footage from any smart cameras you might have dotted around your home. I get the feeling that you will tend to use Spot from a shorter distance away - on a bedside table or kitchen worktop - but Amazon reckons that "enhanced noise cancellation" will help it hear you from a distance as well, anyway.

Lenovo unveiled its Smart Display in 8-inch or 10-inch flavours, JBL showed off its Link View, which has an 8-inch display, as does LG's WK9 (with a boxy design but the saving grace of Meridian Audio speakers) and finally Sony was confirmed to be working on a Google smart display, too.

Every time a new high-tech device is released, it seems like it's followed by the next best thing.

The executive also told TechCrunch that Amazon has learned where Alexa's knowledge gaps are by analyzing questions real users have asked the virtual assistant that it was unable to answer.

Echo Spot launched in the United States in 2017 and is now available in the United Kingdom to pre-order.

At £199.99/£229.99, the Echo Show is the most expensive Echo now available.