As @TuDo's comment indicates (and he can change it to an answer if he likes, in which case I'll remove this answer), you can at least use a standalone minibuffer frame, and you can position it where you like.
One advantage over the default setup is that you have only a single place to look, always, for output messages (echo area) and for input editing (minibuffer).
You could even cause its position to change dynamically - for example, to be close to where the current input focus is.
One On One Emacs can help. Out of the box, it lets you decide where to put the minibuffer frame, but to reposition it dynamically you will need to do a little extra.
(EmacsWiki is currently down, but you can download
oneonone.el from MELPA also.)