How to customize the motion settings on the Echo Show 10

Some days want your camera to look at you; other days you want to be left alone.

Andrew Gebhart Former senior producer
3 min read
Chris Monroe/CNET

Sometimes you're just never going to be ready for your closeup and you need your smart display to respect your space. The Amazon Echo Show 10 has a great new feature where the screen will follow you if you're on a video call or if you're watching a movie so you can keep up with the action as you move around the room. 

We liked the feature enough in our review to dub the $250 Show 10 our favorite full-size smart display. It's handy, it performs well and rather than collecting more data to enable it, the motion feature works through sound triangulation and computer vision and processes all info locally. 

If you're creeped out entirely by a smart display following your movements (which is fair; it walks that line), you're better off with a different model. That said, if you like the idea somewhat but are interested in moderation, rest assured that the Show 10 includes lots of options to customize it to your space and mood.

Customize the Show 10 for your space

When you're first setting up your smart display, or later if you need to move it to a different spot, you can fully customize its range of motion to fit your shelves. 

On initial setup, the Show 10 will prompt you to preview its range of motion. When you do, the display will spin all the way around so you can make sure it has room to move and isn't knocking into anything. If you don't have the room, you can use sliders to restrict its rotational range. 

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After that first setup, you can access this preview again by swiping down from the top of the screen, tapping Settings, then Motion, then Device Mapping and Idle Position, and then tap View to prompt it to go through its range of motion again. 

Hit Next when it's done spinning and you'll see sliders. You can tinker with them to your heart's delight to set the motion range exactly where you want it. You can preview while you're doing this to see your new spin settings in practice. 

Finally, from this same menu, hit Next one last time and you'll be able to set the idle position. You can move a dot anywhere within your selected range of motion and the screen will immediately shift to your designated location. 

The Show 10 will hang out at its idle position when not following you, so make sure it's facing a convenient direction for the days when you don't want to have motion enabled. Once you find your spot, hit Done and your Show 10 is now customized to your space.

Read moreAmazon Echo Show 10 vs. Google Nest Hub Max: Which is the best big-screen smart display?

Customize the behavior of the Show 10

Once you no longer have to worry about the Show 10 knocking valuables off of your shelves, you can make sure motion is only enabled when you want it. 

You can also turn the feature on or off entirely with a shortcut found when you scroll down from the top of the screen. If that's not enough on a day where you want an extra assurance of privacy, Amazon included a physical shutter you can slide over the lens.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Aside from shutting down motion and the camera entirely, you can adjust when the screen will automatically follow you. Once again, scroll down from the top of the screen and hit Settings, then Motion. Note that you can toggle off the Motion feature here as well. 

To customize its behavior, hit Motion Preference and you'll see three options for when it will follow you: During All Activities, During Select Activities and On Request

The first will allow the screen to turn to you whenever you give a command, watch a video, make a call and more. The second will only turn during multimedia activities like watching a video or following a recipe. The last will only enable the feature if you specifically give a voice command and ask the screen to follow you. 

Amazon's cool feature includes enough customization that you can adjust it to fit your space and your tolerance for creepiness. Once you have motion set the way you want it, here's how to create grouped commands called Routines, how to stream your favorite music and how to try a new recipe with the guiding hand of your smart display.