Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant has become an absolute must-have for those looking to add a bit of simplicity to their life, and now the technology has found its way into cars.
Announced back in September, Amazon’s Echo Auto is a tiny, voice-activated device designed to rest atop a vehicle’s dashboard. Just like the Alexa devices found in the homes of millions around the world, Echo Auto listens and responds to all manner of requests from owners. When driving, it could be particularly useful for asking about traffic and weather conditions.
The device also works with apps like Google Maps for directions as well as a plethora of music apps such as Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora, and SiriusXM. Support for apps such as Apple Maps and Apple Music is also on the way.
Shortly after Amazon premiered Echo Auto last year, it was made available for pre-order and according to Amazon, more than a million pre-order requests were made. Shipments commenced prior to Christmas.
Curiously, the device can only be purchased via invitation on Amazon, but those who snap up the Echo Auto while it’s still new will only have to cough up $24.99. When it becomes available to all, it will be priced at $49.99.
The small piece of tech supports Apple’s iPhone and most Android devices. Among the Android phones not compatible are those from HTC, the Huawei Mate SE and Honor 4c, LG’s Nexus 4, the ZTE Black A510, Alcatel Pixi 4, and the LeEco LePro3. Owners of select BMW, Ford, Audi, and Toyota models won’t need to bother with the Echo Auto, as their vehicles already have Alexa.