Often vehicle-related announcements mean that new cars have amazing new capabilities, but your car, your dumb, non-connected car misses out. Thankfully Amazon have big plans for Alexa and while also announcing vehicle partnerships with a number of auto makers, there’s also an aftermarket product called Echo Auto that integrates with the millions of existing vehicles.
As the name suggests, this device offers Echo functionality in your car. As someone with 4 Alexa-enabled speakers in my home, using voice to command parts of my life is now completely natural. Having that same functionality come to vehicles is absolutely brilliant, particularly as it achieves the long frustration of drivers, to stay connected, informed and entertained while on the road.
There’s no more fiddling with your phone or radio—just ask Alexa to play a song, genre, artist, or station from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and more. With Audible, listen to the world’s largest library of audiobooks and take the story with you anytime, anywhere. Plus, stream podcasts, get news briefings, or keep the whole car entertained with games like Jeopardy!, 20 Questions, and more.
You can also use it to make the most of your time in the car. Add items to your to-do and shopping lists, set reminders, or manage your calendar while your eyes stay on the road. Ask Alexa to find nearby restaurants and reserve a table. When you’re leaving the office, use Drop In to connect with compatible Echo devices at home to check in with the family, or send them a quick Announcement that you’re picking up dinner. Alexa can also help you call your contacts using your phone.
You may also choose to use Echo Auto for location-based features, Echo Auto helps you get to where you’re going. Just ask for directions and Alexa connects to supported apps like Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze on your phone. You can also ask Alexa to find nearby gas stations, check traffic, and more.
The Echo Auto is powered from your 12v power outlet and gets internet connectivity from your phone. The device mounts to your dash and connects either through Bluetooth LE or a 3.5mm jack. As with all Alexa devices, the microphones and hearing you yell commands at it, is the best part. With no less than 8-microphones, it should be able to deal with and hear your voice, even over ambient vehicle sounds like road noise.
During Amazon’s big hardware announcement, they revealed the Echo Auto would run a real-time OS from Amazon.
The echo-auto is available for pre-order by invitation only. You can request one by visiting the Echo Auto page on Amazon.
- Connects to Alexa using your phone, is ready in seconds, and plays through your car speakers. Includes Echo Auto Dash Mount.
- With eight microphones designed for in-car acoustics, Echo Auto can hear you over music, A/C, and road noise.
- Use your voice to play music, check the news, open the garage door, find the nearest gas station, and more.
- Play Audible books, stream podcasts, or listen to Amazon Music, Spotify, Sirius XM, or NPR.
- Make calls, set reminders, add items to your shopping and to-do lists, or manage your calendar.
- With over 50,000 skills and counting, Alexa is always getting smarter. Skills are like apps and let you do more with Alexa.
- Set location-based routines—automated actions Alexa can start when you leave the office or get home.
- Ask for directions and Alexa connects to supported apps like Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze on your phone.
We can’t wait to get hands-on with this one. Amazon.. Australia is waiting.