Verizon is working on a smart display with 4G connectivity
Smart displays have become more popular in recent years, starting with the first Amazon Echo. There are now dozens (if not hundreds) of different models available, most of which use either Google Assistant or Alexa to provide the ‘smart’ functionality through voice commands and touchscreen controls. Now it appears U.S. carrier Verizon is working on its own smart display, though it remains to be seen who will actually want one.
New FCC filings (spotted by Protocol) reveal that Verizon is working on a smart display with the model name ‘LVD1.’ It has an 8-inch 1280×800 display, 4GB RAM, a front-facing camera (with a privacy shutter), 16GB of internal storage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 4G connectivity. That last feature would set it apart from just about every other smart display currently available, though it’s not clear how 4G connectivity would be useful — most smart displays are set up in homes where Wi-Fi is already available. Perhaps the display will be similar to HTC’s 5G Hub, which was marketed as a powerful 5G hotspot that could also run media applications.
The product manual included in the filing mentions Amazon’s Alexa assistant, as well as a “Hi Verizon” voice prompt. This seems to be the first product to support the Alexa Custom Assistant program, which enables companies to create their own wake word, voice skills, and capabilities.
Verizon’s smart display also seems to support the company’s BlueJeans videoconferencing service, which could increase sales in corporate environments. There’s also a USB Type-A port on the back, but the available documents don’t mention what it’s for — perhaps it’s simply for charging other devices, like the USB port on the Lenovo Smart Clock.
It’s unclear when the new smart display will be officially revealed, but product announcements usually don’t come long after a device has cleared the FCC.