Alexa is in your home and office. Now the digital assistant will be taking up a residency in your car. In an event focused on Alexa, Amazon announced the Echo Auto. It’s a simple accessory that enables the digital assistant in almost any vehicle.
The feature set isn’t too different than what other Alexa-enabled devices have. With the Echo Auto, you’re able to leave home and have it turns off the lights at home. It can also read Audible content, navigate using your phone’s maps app, and communicate with Drop In-ready hardware.
Because of its location awareness, you can ask Alexa on the Echo Auto where the nearest McDonald’s is and get immediate turn-by-turn directions.
The Echo Auto does indeed have the same eight-microphone setup as Amazon’s Echo Show. It uses Bluetooth or an auxiliary port to feed audio. You will, however, definitely need Bluetooth to give the dashboard commander access to a connection for data.
For the Echo Auto, Amazon created an entirely new real-time operating system called FreeRTOS. We’ll be hearing more about the integrated third-party services soon.
Most of the new Alexa-enabled devices are set to be widely available in October, but the Echo Auto won’t be rolled out as ambitiously. The Alexa-in-the-car accessory will be offered on an invite-only basis. Amazon took a similar strategy with the Echo a few years ago, and thus it might take a few months before you can get an Echo Auto in your car.
With an invite, the Echo Auto costs just $24. Everyone else will be paying $49 after the full release commences.
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